Potential kidney donors are carefully assessed as candidates for a major elective surgery to ensure favourable long-term outcomes. Medical and psychosocial components are included in the screening. Although donors can often be successfully screened in a few months, the process can take longer, especially if test findings indicate that additional tests are needed. To prevent missing out on kidney transplant prospects, transplant centres should aim for a total approval period of less than six months (for example, that the intended recipient becomes too ill for transplant while the donor is being evaluated).
The psychosocial screening aims to identify the presence of psychological issues that may make donation more difficult, such as a lack of social support to aid in their post-operative recovery, familial coercion, and so on.
The donor's overall health and surgical risk are assessed, as well as any conditions that could signal difficulties from living with a single kidney. It also evaluates whether the donor has diseases that could be passed to the recipient (who is usually immunocompromised), the anatomy of the donor's kidneys, including size variations and abnormalities that could complicate surgery, and the donor and recipient's immunological compatibility. Although each transplant centre has its own set of guidelines, the following are common exclusion criteria:
- hypertension that is uncontrolled;
- adiposity with morbidity
- a heart or lung condition
- a cancer history;
- renal disease in the family; and
- Proteinuria is a condition in which the kidneys are not performing as well as they should.