Why Choose Us for Your Child's Kidney Transplant
The Pediatric Kidney Transplant Program at CHOP started in 1993. We are one of the most active pediatric kidney transplant programs in the United States. Our transplant team has the experience and skill to care for children with many different causes of kidney failure. Most importantly, you and your child are at the center of everything we do, and we value child and family input as we travel with you on your transplant journey.
“We are so blessed to have CHOP for [our son]. The entire team there is so awesome. At the time of the transplant, they had someone for every aspect of the process. it was the total package. And the team is still there for whatever we need.”
Our Involvement with the National Kidney Registry
CHOP’s involvement with the National Kidney Registry increases access to well-matched living donors.
In the field of kidney transplantation, there’s a notable difference based on age: Pediatric patients have a higher rate of living donors than adults. While data from 2015 for all ages of kidney transplant patients shows less than 30% were from living donors, for pediatrics, the number is closer to 50%. CHOP’s involvement with the National Kidney Registry (NKR), through a partnership with Penn Medicine, increases patients’ access to living donor options, creating better overall outcomes for patients. Living donors are screened head to toe, ensuring that the kidney is from a healthy individual.
With high volumes, CHOP is one of only a few pediatric transplant centers in the country involved with the NKR.
Organ donor awareness
While we have no way of knowing how long your child will have to wait for a compatible kidney, you should know that the geographic setting of CHOP can shorten wait times for patients. Organ donation awareness is high in the Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware region, due largely to effective education by state governments and the region’s organ procurement organization, Gift of Life Donor Program. In fact, Gift of Life has the highest organ procurement rate in the nation.
After the kidney transplant, your child will be cared for in CHOP’s Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU), one of the nation's largest and best-equipped PICUs. The unit's highly experienced critical care staff is specifically trained in the care of transplant patients — as well as a variety of other critically ill children — and works closely with the transplant team on its daily rounds.
When it’s time to leave the PICU, your child will be transferred to a medical unit, where the nursing staff also has special training in care for patients who have received a kidney transplant. Our team of nephrologists, nurses, pharmacists, social workers, and dieticians provide individualized education and support to you and your child so that you feel confident in caring for a transplant prior to discharge from the hospital. Our specialists will also consult with your child's pediatrician or family doctor regularly to give updates on your child's progress.
Each Kidney Transplant Program staff member knows this is a difficult time for your family. While we cannot ease all the emotional stress you are under, we will do all we can to help you cope. We know that clear communication about your child's illness and progress is especially important, so we make this a priority. We try to anticipate issues with you before transplant. Our psychologists and social workers are integrated into our team.
We can also help you address practical matters, such as dealing with the financial issues related to transplant and follow-up care. If you have any concerns about your child's care, please don't hesitate to ask any transplant team member.