Children tell stories about receiving life-changing organ transplants at Nemours/Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children.
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With more than two decades of experience and hundreds of successful transplants, our Solid Organ Transplant team oversees one of the largest pediatric liver and kidney transplant programs in the country. If your child has end-stage kidney or liver disease, our team can offer comprehensive evaluation, treatment, and ongoing care.
The Transplant Evaluation
To make sure that a transplant is the best treatment option and to see if your child is a good candidate for a transplant, we’ll start the transplant evaluation (or “work up”) process, which will involve:
- a meeting with members of your Nemours transplant team, which includes a surgeon, social worker, transplant coordinator, and a specialist such as a hepatologist for children with liver disease or a nephrologist for children with kidney disease
- a comprehensive physical examination
- a medical history, including making sure all routine immunizations are up to date and that your child has been taking all medications and following the recommended diet
- consultations, which are meetings with specialists in areas like the kidneys, liver, heart, infectious diseases, hearing, and psychology
- tests, such as blood work, a chest X-ray, abdominal ultrasound, hearing test, heart tests like an electrocardiogram/EKG, and an electroencephalogram/EEG to detect brain abnormalities
The transplant evaluation can be done in steps, either in a Nemours clinic or in the hospital depending on how sick your child is at the time of evaluation. We do these tests and consultations so that we can evaluate your child as a whole and make sure that any problems are addressed pre-transplant. Once all studies are done a member of the transplant team will call you to set up another meeting.
For Appointments: (302) 651-4200
Seeing Multiple Specialists?
Our Patient Navigators can help schedule multiple appointments on the same day at the same location.
- photo ID
- medical and pharmacy insurance cards
- preferred pharmacy name and phone number
- names and dosage of all medications, including over-the-counter medication, your child is currently taking
- guardianship and custody papers, if a legal guardian rather than a parent accompanies your child
Returning Patient Forms
- Patient Presents Without Legal Guardian (PDF)
English | Spanish
Note: A parent or legal guardian must be with a child for a first visit.
Resources for Patients & Families
- Insurance We Accept: See accepted insurance, listed by location.
- Pay Your Bill: Use online bill pay or send by mail.
- Financial Assistance: Get help with your child's health care expenses.
- MyNemours: Access your child’s medical record online.
- Your Child's Surgery Guide (PDF) in English or Spanish: What to expect before, during and right after surgery.
The Solid Organ Transplant team at Nemours/Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children oversees one of the largest pediatric liver and kidney transplant programs in the country.
Why Choose Nemours
- We focus on your child’s quality of life during and after transplant.
- We offer top-rate therapy that helps kids recuperate and get back home quicker.
- Our length of stay is shorter than national averages; many of our transplant patients are back home in three or four weeks after transplant.
- Our multidisciplinary team of specialists will consider the needs of every child referred to us, no matter how complicated the case.
- We provide excellent and personalized care that places the patient and family at the center.
- We work as one coordinated team.
Types of Transplant Donors
Your child may be able to get a donated liver or kidney in one of two ways, either from a:
- living donor: a relative (also called a “living related donor”) or another unrelated adult.
- deceased (or cadaver) donor: the most common way, donated by a healthy adult or child who became critically ill and died of this illness (after the person or his or her guardians agreed to donate the organs in the event of a sudden death).
As soon as the transplant team decides that a transplant is the right option, your child will be placed on local and national organ waiting lists (which have the names of all of the people who need kidneys, livers, or other organ donations). A group called the United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS) oversees this list and assigns organs based on how sick a person is, how quickly the patient needs a new organ, and which person is the best match for the organ donated.
Every year thousands of people are placed on the organ transplant waiting list, and some have to wait months, even years. For every person transplanted, two more are placed on the list. But living donation allows patients to be transplanted with healthy organs in a timely fashion, and with very good long-term results.
At Nemours, we were early adopters of living-related donor procedures, which allow a living relative to donate a segment of the liver or one of their kidneys for transplantation. This technique makes it possible for more children to receive a transplant as soon as possible and increases their chances of long-term survival after the transplant.
Of course, although a living donor is the best, fastest way to get a kidney or liver transplant, not every child can get a living donor — even if relatives or family friends are interested. Potential donors have to be screened to make sure they’d be a good match. For example, the blood types (and other markers) of the potential donor and child must match. The potential donor is also screened to assure that the donated organ is healthy. The screening process includes tests (like blood work and an electrocardiogram, or EKG) that make sure the donor doesn’t have any conditions or infections that would put his or her own health or the child’s health at risk. If all the studies indicate that the donor is a good fit to donate the organ, then we can schedule the day for surgery.
If no living donor is available, our Nemours team members will be there for you every step of the way as you wait for an organ, offering the emotional support and resources you and your child need to cope.
Our Family-Centered Environment
At duPont Hospital for Children, we pride ourselves in offering a child- and family-friendly setting that makes you feel at home and reduces the stress of taking care of (and being) a child with a serious health condition. From our colorful inpatient rooms to our vibrant playrooms, from our accommodating intensive care unit rooms to our family room equipped with many amenities, we aim to make every experience at our facility less scary and overwhelming for both you and your child.
Learn more about what you can expect during:
Our Follow-up Care
After your child’s transplant, the duPont Hospital for Children specialists who participated in your child’s transplant team can offer follow-up care at various locations through the Delaware Valley. Talk to your transplant coordinator about whether and where you can see your child’s doctors at other Nemours sites.
Our transplant surgeons are also involved in all long-term patient decisions through weekly team meetings at the hospital, where all patients seen in our outpatient clinics are discussed.
In addition to our ongoing post-transplant care, to keep you informed and involved with our Nemours family after your child’s transplant, we also offer things like an annual holiday party for transplant patients and their families, Transplant Times (a quarterly newsletter for transplant recipients), and the U.S. Transplant Games (in which transplant staff take interested transplant recipients to compete).
What to Expect With Pediatric Surgery
If your child needs surgery, you can trust our pediatric surgical team at Nemours. Our pediatric surgical specialists (surgeons, anesthesiologists and nurses) understand what kids need, psychologically and physically. Our guidebook provides step-by-step instructions and information about what to expect before, during and right after surgery at Nemours/Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children.
Top 10 Things Kids Need to Know About Surgery
Take your child on a pediatric surgery video tour with Sheridan on her surgery day. This fun, kid-friendly video shows children and teens what to expect, step-by-step, if they need an operation at Nemours/Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children.