Anesthesia: medication given before surgery which causes a temporary loss of sensation.
Altruistic Donors: donors who choose to give their kidney to anyone waiting for a kidney transplant, who the donor does not know. (Also referred to as “non-directed donors” or “Good Samaritan donors”)
Affordable Care Act: federal status signed into law by President Barack Obama which places strong consumer protections and provides new health coverage options for Americans.
Antibody: a protein substance created by the body’s immune system to fight foreign substances, for example, a previous transplant, blood transfusion, virus, or bacteria.
Antigen: a foreign substance or event that triggers the body’s immune response to create antibodies.
Anti-rejection Medicines: immunosuppressant medicines that all organ transplant recipients must take in order to prevent the body’s immune system from rejecting or attacking a transplanted kidney.
Blood Type: The clasification of blood based on the antigens your red blood cells display on the surface. There are (4) types of blood A, B, AB, & O.
Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS): a federal agency that provides the Medicare program, and partners with state governments to administer Medicaid and State Children’s Health Insurance Program.
Paired Chain Donation: occurs when a patient and living donor pair who are not a match then swap donors with another patient who is not a match with their donor in another patient-donor pair. The transplant center will set up the paired chain.
Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD): a condition that causes reduced kidney function over time. CKD has 5 stages. CKD may lead to End-Stage Kidney Disease.
Compatibility: the degree of biological similarity between a donor and a recipient. This is also called a “match.”
Complications: occur when a disease or disorder arises from another disease or procedure, such as surgery. A complication includes getting an infection as a result of donation surgery.
Cooling-off Period: is a period of time between the donor’s consent and the scheduled donor operation.
Cross-match: before a transplant, the donor’s blood is tested with the recipient’s blood to see whether they are compatible. If the crossmatch is “positive,” then the donor and patient are not compatible. If the crossmatch is “negative,” then the transplant may occur. Cross-matching is routinely done before kidney and pancreas transplantation.
Deceased Donor: a person who recently died and donated his/her organs.
Deceased Kidney Donation: occurs when a kidney from a person who recently died is placed into a patient whose kidneys have failed.
Diabetes: a chronic disease marked by high levels of sugar in the blood. Diabetes is the leading cause of end-stage kidney disease (ESKD).
Dialysis: the process of filtering and removing wastes and excess fluids from the blood artificially. If the kidneys fail, the blood must be filtered artificially. This job is normally done by the kidneys. The kidneys or dialysis help to make sure that there is the right balance of chemicals in the blood. The two major forms of dialysis are hemodialysis and peritoneal dialysis.
Directed Donation: occurs when the family of a deceased donor, or live donor, directs the organ to go to a specific recipient.
Disability Insurance: a form of insurance than insures an individual’s earned income if they become ill, sick or not able to perform their regular job duties.
Disparity: a lack of equality between groups of people. Disparities may occur among people with different racial, ethnic-backgrounds, income levels, gender, age, etc. Disparities in health or access to health care occur in the rate of ESKD in the population, access to transplantation, transplant outcomes, and living donation.
Documented Immigrant: a foreign-born individual residing in the U.S. who is a legal resident.
Donor Evaluation Process: the process transplant centers use to make sure potential donors are healthy enough to donate, a match with their recipient, and comfortable with their decision.
Donor Leave Laws: a law that requires employers to provide paid time off for federal and state employees who decide to donate.
End-Stage Kidney Disease (ESKD), also known as End-Stage Renal Disease (ESRD): total and permanent kidney failure. When the kidneys fail, the body retains fluid. Harmful wastes build up. A person with ESKD needs treatment to replace the work of the failed kidneys. No treatment is a cure for ESKD.
Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA): Department of Labor definition: this law entitles eligible employees of covered employers to take unpaid, job-protected time off from work for specified family and medical reasons. The employee will be able to keep the same group health insurance coverage under the same terms and conditions as if the employee had not taken the time off.
Follow-Up: donors are expected to return to the transplant center for follow-up care for at least 2 years after the transplant to make sure they are healthy and have not developed any complications from their donation.
Gestational Diabetes: high blood sugar or diabetes that starts or is diagnosed during pregnancy.
Graft: another name for the transplanted organ, like a kidney.
Graft Failure: when the transplanted organ stops working.
Hemodialysis: is the most common form of therapy for patients with End-Stage Kidney Disease (ESKD) in which blood is removed from a patient’s body using needles in the forearm. The blood then passes through a machine to remove waste and fluid. Then the clean blood is returned to the patient using a different needle in the same arm. Typically, hemodialysis must be done 3 times a week for 3-4 hours each session.
Hernia: when an organ or fatty tissue squeezes through a weak spot in tissue in the belly (abdominal) area. One kind of hernia that living donors can get is an incisional hernia, which happens because muscles are cut during donor surgery which makes the muscles weaker. An incisional hernia is different from the hernia that men usually get from lifting heavy things. Tissues inside the belly can push through the weak muscles. Hernias look like a bump under the skin near the scar.
Histocompatibility: the similarity in the tissues of the donor and recipient. This similarity increases the chances of the donated organ working in the recipient.
HLA (human leukocyte antigens) system: a genetically determined series of markers (antigens) present on human white blood cells (leukocytes) and on tissues that are important for histocompatibility.
Hypertension: also called high blood pressure. This is a chronic disease in which blood flows through the blood vessels with a force greater than normal. Hypertension can strain the heart, damage blood vessels, and increase the risk of kidney problems, heart attack, stroke, and death. High blood pressure is one of the main causes of End-Stage Kidney Disease (ESKD).
Immigrants: a foreign-born individual living in the U.S.; includes naturalized citizens as well as non-citizens who fall into a number of different immigration categories.
Immune System: the body’s system for protecting itself from viruses and bacteria or any foreign substances.
Immunosuppressant: a drug, also called “anti-rejection medicines,” given to stop the natural responses of the body’s immune system. Immunosuppressants are given to prevent the body’s immune system from attacking or rejecting the transplanted organ rejection in people who have received a transplant.
Independent Donor Advocate (IDA): staff person at a transplant center who makes sure the rights of living donors are respected. IDAs educate potential living donors, assist them in obtaining information, protect their interests, and advocate on their behalf.
Kidney Failure: is total and permanent loss of kidney function. Kidney failure is also called End-Stage Kidney Disease. When the kidneys fail, the body retains fluid. Harmful wastes build up. A person with ESKD needs treatment to replace the work of the failed kidneys. No treatment is a cure for ESKD.
Kidneys: the bean-shaped organs that filter wastes from the blood. The kidneys are located near the middle of the back, one on each side of the spine. They create urine, which is delivered to the bladder through tubes called ureters.
Kidney Transplant: when a person whose kidneys have failed receives a healthy kidney from a deceased or living donor through a surgery.
Laparoscopic surgery: a type of surgery that uses a tube with a tiny camera to allow the surgeon to see inside the body. The cuts (incisions) made during this type of surgery tend to be smaller than with other types of surgery (open surgery).
Life expectancy: the expected number of years to live at a given age.
Living kidney donation: when a living person gives one of their healthy kidneys to another person whose kidneys have failed through surgery.
List exchange: when a person donates a kidney to an unknown person on the waiting list in order to reduce the waiting time for a known person on the waiting list to get a kidney. This can occur when the donor and patient do not have a compatible match of antigens.
Maintenance Dialysis: routine dialysis treatment for patients with End-Stage Kidney Disease (ESKD). This term refers to any form of dialysis therapy. Maintenance dialysis is not a cure for ESKD.
Match: the degree of biological similarity between a donor and a recipient. This is also called “compatibility.” Match
Matricula Consular: a form of identification provided to Mexican citizens by Mexican Consulates in the US.?
Medicare: governmental insurance given to American citizens ages 65 and older and to anyone with disabilities including people with End-Stage Kidney Disease (ESKD).
Medicaid: a health program for eligible people and families with low income and resources.
National Organ Transplant Act: The act established in 1984 the Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network (OPTN) to maintain a national registry for organ matching. The act also called for the network to be operated by a private, non-profit organization under federal contract.
Nephrologist: doctor who treats people who have kidney problems or related conditions, such as hypertension.
Non-Citizen: a foreign-born person living in the U.S. who is not a citizen. Over half (56%) of non-citizens are legal immigrants, including legal permanent residents (those with green cards); refugees, asylees, and other humanitarian immigrants; and lawfully present temporary immigrants.
Non-Directed Donors: occurs when a donor family or a live donor does not indicate a specific recipient. The organ is then given out according to the rules set by the United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS) for deceased donor organs, and according to local transplant center arrangements for living altruistic donors. The live "non-directed" donor gives to someone who they do not know; this may be someone on the transplant waiting list or may be in the context of “paired donor exchanges.
NSAIDS: or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs: Drugs that serve as an analgesic and reduce fevers and reduce swelling. Common types of NSAIDS are Aspirin, Ibuprofen, Naproxen, and Nabumetone.
OPO: or organ procurement organizations (OPOs); private non-profit organizations that are responsible for increasing donor registration in their service areas and for coordinating the deceased donation process in hospitals.
OPTN: or Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network; an organization that administers the nation’s organ sharing system and ensures that organs are given out in a fair and just manner. The United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS) administers the OPTN under contract with the Health Resources and Services Administration of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
Osmosis: movement of water across a semipermeable membrane from a diluted area to a more concentrated area.
Paired Chain: donation happens when two or more donor-recipient incompatible pairs swap donors who are matches with the recipient of the other pair. This can occur when the donor and recipient do not have a compatible match of antigens.
Peritoneal Dialysis: filtering the blood by using the lining of the abdominal cavity, or belly, as the filter. A cleansing liquid, called dialysis solution, is drained from a bag into the abdomen. Fluid and wastes flow through the lining of the abdominal cavity and remain “trapped” in the dialysis solution. The solution is then drained from the abdomen, removing the extra fluid and wastes from the body.
Post-Operative Care: the management of care for a patient or donor after surgery both in the hospital and at home.
Proteinuria: called albuminuria or urine albumin-- a condition in which urine contains too much protein. Proteinuria is a sign of chronic kidney disease (CKD).
Preclampsia: when a pregnant woman develops high blood pressure and protein in the urine sometime during her 2nd or 3rd trimester.
Quality of Life: a person’s physical, emotional, and social well-being. Health-related quality of life includes the impact of disease, treatment, or organ donation on a person’s sense of well-being.
Rejection: when the body recognizes a transplanted organ as foreign and tries to attack it. Anti-rejection or immunosuppressant medicines are used to prevent or treat rejection.
Renal: of or related to the kidneys. A renal disease is a disease of the kidneys.Renal failure means the kidneys are damaged.
Sensitization: Having many antibodies in the blood. If a person is highly sensitized, his or her immune system will be very ready to attack the transplanted kidney, causing organ rejection. Transplants are generally not possible for patients who are highly sensitized, unless patients go through an innovative treatment process offered at some transplant centers that de-sensitizes patients. Sensitization usually occurs because of pregnancy, blood transfusions, or a previous organ transplant.
Strenuous sports: or vigorous physical activities or exercise that requires great effort or exertion. Examples of strenuous exercise include running, jogging, race walking, jump roping, tennis, aerobic dancing, and uphill hiking. If a person can tell that they are doing strenuous exercise when he or she needs to stop and breathe when talking during the exercise.
Transplantation: replacement of a diseased organ with a healthy one through surgery. A kidney transplant may come from a living donor, often a relative, or from someone who has just died (deceased donor).
Transplant Center: centers usually within hospitals that provide transplantation surgery of certain organs.
Transplant Social Worker: a social worker who focuses on patients’ non-medical needs during the transplant process, like transportation, housing, and financial, family, or community support.
Transplant Financial Coordinator: a member of the transplant team who will help patients and donors understand their insurance plans and financial responsibility, and will provide resources and advice relative to their financial status both pre- and post-surgery.
United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS): the private, non-profit organization that manages the nation's organ transplant system under contract with the federal government. UNOS is responsible for: a) Managing the national transplant waiting list, matching deceased donors to recipients 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, b) Maintaining the database that contains all organ transplant data for every transplant event that occurs in the U.S.; c) Developing policies that make the best use of the limited supply of organs and give all patients a fair chance at receiving the organ they need, regardless of age, sex, ethnicity, religion, lifestyle or financial/social status, d) Monitoring every organ match to ensure organ allocation policies are followed, e) Providing assistance to patients, family members and friends, and f) Educating the public about the importance of organ donation.
The United States Renal Data System (USRDS): a national data system that collects, analyzes, and distributes information about End-Stage Kidney Disease (ESKD) in the United States. The USRDS makes information available to the public on its website: http://www.usrds.org/
Undocumented Immigrants: A foreign-born person living in the U.S. who is not a legal resident.
Urinary tract infection (UTI): an infection in the urethra, ureters, and/or bladder.
Waiting List: The list of patients who are waiting for a deceased donor organ.
Last Updated: 7/10/2015