How do I get started if I decide to become a donor?
If you decide you want to be a kidney donor, you will need to get in touch with the renal (kidney) transplant co-ordinator at the nearest hospital that has a renal (kidney) specialist service.
The transplant co-ordinator is usually a nurse.
The co-ordinator’s job is to help potential donors like you go through the kidney donation process. The transplant co-ordinator can answer your questions.
If you decide to donate your kidney, you will also deal with other doctors and nurses in the renal transplant team, including renal doctors and surgeons.
You will have your own team of doctors, nurses and co-ordinators who will look after you.
A different team will look after the recipient.
If you want to donate your kidney to someone you know, talk to that person.
Sometimes you might need a family meeting to talk about it.
Some transplant co-ordinators might be able to come and talk to your family at home. Not all co-ordinators do this, so ask your transplant co-ordinator if they are able to do this.
Your recipient might say no the first time you offer to donate a kidney to them.
Keep on talking to them and offering to donate a kidney even if the recipient is on dialysis and seems to be doing okay.
New Zealand research shows that some recipients later regretted that they said no to someone who offered them a kidney. The person didn’t offer again, and the recipient didn’t know how to talk about donation with them again.