Frequently Asked Questions
How many organ transplants do you perform a year and how long has Memorial Medical Center been performing transplant surgeries?
Memorial Medical Center performs on average 20 organ transplant procedures a year. Our program was established in 1972. We are the only hospital in central Illinois to offer kidney, pancreas and kidney/pancreas transplantations.
Is there a special unit in the hospital for transplant surgery patients?
Yes. Immediately after your kidney transplant you will be sent to one of two nursing units in the hospital. The first is 5B, the general nursing unit that specially cares for transplant patients after their surgery. If you have a kidney/pancreas or a pancreas transplant or you need special monitoring, you will be sent to 2C, the surgical intensive care unit. The nursing staff on both of these units has received special education regarding kidney and pancreas tranplant patients.
How does the organ matching process work?
There are five steps in the matching process: 1. An organ is donated; 2. A list of potential recipients is generated; 3. We are notified of an available organ; 4. Our team considers the organ for the patient; 5. The organ is accepted or declined.
Why would an organ be declined?
It is not unusual for an organ transplant surgery team to decline an organ. When an organ is offered, the transplant team must consider several factors to decide the best medical care for each individual patient. These factors include: established medical criteria, organ condition, candidate condition, staff and patient availability and organ transportation. This is a normal part of the matching process. After being turned down for one patient, the organ is offered to the next patient on the list. These offers continue until the organ is placed.
How much does it cost to receive a transplant?
There are many costs associated with receiving a transplant organ, and each individual case varies. We have numerous resources and staff available to answer your financial questions confidentially and to help with insurance, Medicaid and Medicare, COBRA, and numerous charitable and advocacy organizations can provide assistance. Memorial's Transplant Fund also financially assists patients. This fund is supported by our annual Transplant 5K Run/Walk in September.
How long will it take to find an organ match?
Once you are listed on the deceased donor list, it takes approximately 4 or 5 years to receive your new kidney or pancreas.
How long will I have to be on medicine?
You will need to be on the medicine that keeps your kidney functioning properly and prevents rejection all of your life as long as the kidney is working.
How can I sign up to be an organ donor?
You can sign up at any driver's license facility or you can go to this website to register: LifeGoesOn.com Click on first person consent organ/tissue donor registry.
Can a living family member donate an organ for me?
Yes. Any person can be checked to see if they are a compatible donor. It could be family, friends or an altruistic donor as long as the person is healthy. Special matching tests will be completed by the transplant center to see if they are compatible to the recipient.