Preparing for the Pediatric Kidney Transplant

Here are some simple steps you and your family can take while your child waits for a deceased donor kidney transplant.

  • Stay in touch and be ready at all times
    • Make sure the Children’s Kidney Transplant coordinator can reach you at all times. Provide school, work, family and vacation phone numbers. This ensures that the Children’s Kidney Transplant team can contact you right away.
    • Tell us if your phone number or address changes. If we can’t make contact, the kidney will be given to another patient waiting for a kidney transplant.
    • The pediatric kidney transplant team may give you a pager. Check your pager each day to make sure it works.
      • Keep it with you at all times.
      • Contact the Children’s Kidney Transplant financial counselor if your family has a change in work status or insurance coverage.
    • Have a plan to get to the hospital the day of the kidney transplant
      • The Children’s Kidney Transplant coordinator will tell you when your child must arrive at Children’s at Egleston.
      • Make sure your car or truck is working well and is ready for your trip at any time.
      • Have a plan to take care of siblings during the kidney transplant.
    • Make sure your child is ready
      • Report all infections. The kidney transplant will be canceled if your child is sick.
      • If your child becomes ill, get treatment right away. This helps ensure he will be ready for the kidney transplant when a donor kidney is ready.
      • Make sure the pediatric kidney transplant team is aware of any changes in your child’s health.
    • Help your child get in good physical shape for the kidney transplant
      • Have him eat healthy foods as allowed by his diet guidelines. Keep him as active as possible.
      • Spend time with your child. Talk with him about his kidney transplant. Let him express feelings, fears or concerns. Let him ask questions and be truthful with your answers. The pediatric kidney transplant team will be happy to help you if concerns or questions arise.
      • Keep your child in school and involved in activities, if possible. Try to keep your child’s routines normal and balanced.


    The social worker can arrange for you to have a pager. As soon as your child is listed for a kidney transplant, the team must be able to reach you at all times. Carry a pager or cell phone at all times so you can be reached as soon as a donor kidney is available. This is your responsibility. Be sure to call us back as quickly as possible.

    When the Call Comes

    The transplant coordinator will call or page you when UNOS finds a donor kidney. When the call comes, your child must get to Children’s at Egleston as quickly and safely as possible. As soon as you are called, your child should stop eating and drinking so that his stomach will be empty.

    When you receive the call, bring:

    • A list of your child’s medicines
    • A list of drug allergies
    • Your child’s health information
    • Your health insurance card

    Make sure your child takes all of his medicine as prescribed to prevent problems. It is okay to swallow small sips of water with his medicine.


    You need to get to the hospital as quickly and safely as possible. If you live far from Atlanta, you and your family should be ready to fly here for the kidney transplant, if needed. If your insurance company does not cover the flight, you must pay for it.