Glossary

Absorption
The degree and speed at which a drug enters the bloodstream.

Alport Syndrome
An inherited disease that affects the glomeruli (filtering units in the kidney).

Anemia
A condition caused by too few red blood cells in the body.

Anesthesia
A medicine that puts your child to sleep during surgery.

Anesthesiologist
The medical doctor that administers anesthesia and monitors your child during surgery.

Antibiotic
A medicine used to fight infections.

Antibody
A protein made by the body to fight foreign matter, such as germs.

Antigen
A type of foreign matter in the body, such as a transplant, that triggers an action by the immune system. This action leads to the production of antibodies. Antibodies then try to destroy the antigen (transplanted organ).

Anesthetic
A medicine that reduces pain in a local area, such as novocaine for pulling teeth. Some types can also be used to put people into a deep sleep and are used for surgery.

Arteriogram
An X-ray of the arteries. A dye is used to help the arteries “show up” on the X-ray.

Autoimmune Disease
A condition where a person’s immune system attacks its own tissues as if they were unknown substances.

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B Cell
A type of white blood cell that helps the immune system with antibody production.

Bacteria
Germs that can cause disease.

Bioavailability
A measure of how much of a drug dose is absorbed into the bloodstream. This helps doctors know how much of the drug gets to the part of the body it is intended for.

Biopsy
A piece of tissue removed from the body and tested for changes or disease.

BK Virus
A virus that can cause kidney damage and rejection in a transplanted kidney.

Blood Urea Nitrogen (BUN)
A lab test that measures the level of urea in the blood. Urea is formed when protein breaks down in the body. It is carried by blood to the kidneys and removed through the urine. Poor kidney function causes BUN to rise.

Creatinine
Made as the body uses muscle and energy. It is made and removed from the body by the kidneys. When the kidneys do not work well, creatinine levels will be high.

Cross-Match Blood Test
A test done before a living donor transplant that checks and matches your child for antibodies to a potential donor.

Cytomegalovirus (CMV)
A common viral infections that affect most adults.

Deceased Donor Transplant
A diseased kidney is replaced with a healthy kidney from a person who recently died.

Dialysis
A treatment for kidney failure that uses a machine to filter body fluid and waste and helps perform the work of healthy kidneys.

Diuretic
A drug that helps the kidneys make and excrete more urine.

Dietitians/Nutritionists
Clinical staff that help your child with food and nutritional needs.

Dysplastic or Cystic Kidneys
Multiple cysts that grow in the kidneys and are usually present at birth.

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Edema
Excess fluid in body tissues.

Electrolyte
Minerals in your blood and other body fluids, such as sodium, potassium
and chlorine.

Enzyme
A protein made in the body that can change a substance from one form to another.

Epstein Barr Virus (EBV)
A common viral infection that affects most adults.

Financial Counselors
Help you learn about you insurance plan and how to reduce your family's out-of-pocket expenses for your child's care. A financial counselor can help you family set up a long-term payment plan, if needed.

Glomeruli
Tiny blood vessels within the kidneys that filter waste from the blood.

Glomerulonephritis
A type of disease that damages the part of the kidney that filters blood.

Goodpasture’s Syndrome
An autoimmune disease that affects the lungs and kidneys.

Hematocrit
Measures the number of red blood cells in the blood. A low hematocrit can occur with anemia or blood loss.

Hemodialysis
A type of dialysis that uses a man-made filter to remove wastes and return electrolytes to the body.

Hemoglobin
The substance that carries oxygen in red blood cells. Hemoglobin plays an important role in carrying oxygen through the body. It also shows if iron in the blood is low, which is called anemia.

Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome (HUS)
A condition that affects the kidney’s blood and blood vessels.

HLA System
Antigens that are present on human white blood cells (leukocytes) and tissues.

Hypertension
High blood pressure.

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Intensive Care Unit (ICU) and Patient Floor Nurses
Nurses that care for your child while he is in the ICU and on the patient floor.

Immune Response
A reaction of the immune system to a foreign material.

Immune System
The system that protects the body from harmful substances, such as germs and cancer cells.

Immunity
Being able to resist a disease or harmful substance.

Immunosuppressants
Medicines given to help prevent rejection of a transplanted organ.

I.V. or Intravenous
In the vein. It is a way to give medicines or fluids directly into a vein.

I.V. Catheter
A small needle with a hollow tube put into a vein. It is used to give medicines
or fluids.

Kidney
One of the two kidney-bean-shaped organs on both sides of the spine, just above the waist. They rid the body of waste and maintain fluid balance by producing urine.

LifeLink Foundation
A nonprofit organization that recovers organs and tissues for transplants.

Living Donor Transplant
A diseased kidney is replaced with a healthy kidney from a
living person.

Lupus Erythematosis
A chronic inflammatory disease that can affect the kidney and other organs. The cause of the disease is unknown.

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Malignant Tumor
A tumor made up of cancerous cells that have the ability to spread and to invade and destroy tissue.

Match
The compatibility between the person who receives an organ and the donor. In general, the better the “match,” the greater the chance for success with a transplant.

Nephrologist
A kidney doctor who cares for your child before and after transplant.

Nephropathy
A kidney problem caused when the filtering system of the kidney is damaged.

Nephrotic Syndrome
A condition that causes damage to the filtering units in the kidneys. They cannot filter fluids and waste from the blood.

Neutrophil
A type of white blood cell.

Noncompliance
Failure to follow the instructions of one’s healthcare providers, such as not taking medicine as prescribed or not showing up for clinic visits.

Nurse Practitioner
Clinical staff that assist your child's doctor in surgery. They are supervised by doctors and help take care of your child before, during and after a transplant.

Orally
By mouth.

Organ Procurement Organization (OPO)
Serves as the organ link between the donor and recipient. It retrieves, preserves and transports the organ for transplant. They are part of the United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS).

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Peak Levels
A time when medicine levels in your child’s blood are highest.

Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU)
The intensive care unit at Children’s at Egleston is dedicated to the care of pediatric patients.

Percent Antibodies
The amount of antibodies present in the blood. Antibodies are produced as a result of pregnancy, blood transfusions and transplants. Antibodies are matched between the donor and recipient for an organ match.

Peritoneal Dialysis
A type of dialysis that uses a natural filter to remove wastes and return electrolytes to the body.

Physician Assistant
Clinical staff that assist your child's doctor in surgery. They are supervised by doctors and help take care of your child before, during and after a transplant.

Physical Therapists
Clinical staff that help your child with exercises to make him stronger before and after transplant. Physical therapists can also teach you what you can do at home to help your child regain strength.

Potassium
A mineral found in the body. It is needed for proper nerve and muscle function. Excess potassium leaves the body through urine. When the kidneys do not work well, potassium levels will be high.

Prednisone
A steroid medicine taken by most transplant recipients to help prevent rejection.

Prophylactic Medicine
A medicine that helps prevent disease.

Psychologist
A medical professional that helps you and your child cope with feelings about having a kidney transplant. The psychologist helps with the transplant evaluation.

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Rejection
An immune response against grafted tissue, such as a transplanted organ. If it is not successfully treated, the transplant can fail.

Renal
Refers to the kidney.

Renal Function Tests
Tests to check your child’s urine to find out about his kidney function.

Renal Ultrasound (also called a sonogram)
A test that provides pictures of organs in the abdomen (belly).

Respiratory Care or Respiratory Therapists
Clinical staff that help your child with his breathing. They give breathing treatments and monitor how your child breaths.

Re-transplantation
A second transplant. Due to organ rejection or transplant failure, some patients need another transplant. If this happens, they return to the waiting list for another organ.

Sclerosis
A hardening of tissues that results from several causes, such as inflammation
or disease.

Sensitized
Being immunized, or able to have an immune response against an antigen. It often occurs from a previous exposure to that antigen.

Shingles
A herpes virus infection (herpes zoster) that can affect a nerve, causing a rash and pain along the nerve track in the body.

Sodium
A mineral needed for body function. It is the main salt in blood and is also a part of table salt (sodium chloride).

Status
The degree of medical urgency for patients waiting for a kidney transplant.

Survival Rates
How many patients or transplanted organs are alive or functioning after transplant. Survival rates are often given at one, three and five years.

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T Cells
A type of white blood cell that is part of the immune system. T cells help the body fight disease and germs. They can also react against cells in a transplanted organ.

Tissue Typing
A blood test to check for human leukocyte antigens (HLA). It is also called “genetic matching.” Tissue typing is done for all donors and recipients before a transplant.

Transplant Coordinator
A nurse that helps you and your family arrange your child's care and treatment before and after a transplant.

Transplant Surgeon
The doctor that performs the transplant surgery.

Trough Levels
The time when medicine levels in your child’s blood are lowest.

 United Network For Organ Sharing (UNOS)  
An organization that helps advance organ availability and transplantation by uniting and supporting its communities. It helps patients through education, technology and policy development.

Virus
A very small type of germ that causes infection.

Waiting List
After evaluation, patients are added to the national UNOS waiting list by the transplant center. Lists are made based on area of the country and organ type. Each time a donor organ becomes available, the UNOS computer makes a list of potential recipients based on factors such as tissue typing, organ size and medical urgency. Through this process, a “new” list is made each time an organ becomes available.

White Blood Cells
Cells in the blood that fight infection. They are part of the immune system.

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