Saturday, August 27, 2011

How to Become a Living Liver Donor

I've had a few people ask me what the process is to be tested to be a donor for our baby's needed liver transplant due to his genetic condition of Ornithine Transcarbamylase Deficiency.  I had posted a little bit about our meeting with the transplant team earlier, but not the actual application process.

If you are interested in being a potential donor, you must be either O blood type, or possibly B blood type. Positive/negative doesn't matter.  We are currently waiting on results to find out whether baby's blood type is O or B.  If you are O, you can be a donor no matter what blood type the baby is.  If baby turns out to be B blood type, then B blood types can also be donors.

For other info, see the same link as above...Meeting With The Transplant Team.  You will see that currently they would really only consider people under 150lbs.  However, if you are bigger than this, and are still interested, please keep the thought...  If baby grows well after birth, and passes the 10lbs mark, then that raises the maximum weight limit for the donor. You could even submit your application in the meantime, and they would probably keep it on hold until baby reaches a bigger weight.

This is a link to the Liver Donation Manual.  There are a few things in it that don't apply to our situation - like the fact that normally they don't look at potential donors until the person is on the transplant list.  Since baby will be on the list immediately after birth, they are looking at the possibilities of screening donors now.  It's a very detailed document about the procedure!

Finally, here is a link to the Donor Health History Application Form. Where it asks for the recipients name, we are using "Baby Boy Babcock" for now, and he will be at Sick Kids. If you need any more info let me know, and I'll give you the number for the living donor transplant co-ordinator at Toronto General Hospital who looks after all this, and answers questions for those considering the process. 

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