Prior to starting the live donor process, the potential recipient's medical condition is assessed to assure that he or she is an acceptable candidate for a live donor transplant. Once that determination has been made, the candidate is asked to inform any potential living donors to contact the Transplant Department. An individual must first volunteer to donate a portion of his or her liver to a family member or someone with whom he or she shares strong emotional ties. Not all volunteers, however, are deemed suitable. Potential donors must match the following criteria:
Careful screening tests must be performed to evaluate the health and suitability of the donor. Psychiatric evaluations are also conducted to ensure that the donor does not feel unduly pressured by other family members and is truly willing to undergo the procedure, even if it should fail. After initial screening blood work is received and reviewed, a potential donor is scheduled for a consult with a transplant nurse and surgeon. This consult involves a discussion of the procedure itself, as well as an opportunity for the donor to ask any questions. The potential donor is then scheduled, along with the recipient, for a CT scan to evaluate liver volume and vascular anatomy. More extensive blood work is also completed at this time. If the donor is accepted based on his or her liver anatomy, a comprehensive evaluation is then scheduled. At this point, the potential donor meets with the independent donor advocate team. This team consists of a gastroenterologist, a psychiatrist and a social worker who do not have any ties to the recipient transplant team. The evaluation includes but is not limited to an ultrasound as well as preoperative testing. If a potential donor completes this evaluation and is accepted as a suitable donor by the multidisciplinary live donor screening committee and the recipient remains an acceptable transplant candidate, surgery is then scheduled.
Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) Awards Lahey Clinic the Silver1 Medal of Honor for Organ Donation.