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Kidney Transplant Services 

Although in the future the Sacred Heart Kidney Transplant Program will be performing living donor kidney transplants in Pensacola, initially our program will only be performing deceased donor transplants. If you are referred to our program and have a potential living donor we will refer you to the program of your choice that does perform living donor kidney transplants. Since many potential living donor candidates end up unable to donate, we encourage potential recipients who live in our region to still list here for a deceased kidney donor in case their potential donor is not a candidate.


Deceased Kidney Donors

A new kidney allocation system was put into place in late 2014. This system gives transplant professionals a better idea of how long a donated kidney may continue to work after transplant compared to other donated kidneys. This is accomplished by giving each kidney a rank from 1% (the likely longest working kidney) to 100% (the likely shortest working kidney after transplant). This will be called the Kidney Donor Profile Index (KDPI). The KDPI score will be added to the current groups of Standard Criteria Donor (SCD) and Extended Criteria Donor (ECD) kidneys. The ECD kidney will now be any kidney with a KDPI score over 85%. Likewise, a SCD kidney will be any kidney with a KDPI score from 1% to 85%. For some patients, it is better to take a higher KDPI and possibly be transplanted sooner because they may die or become too sick for a transplant while waiting for a lower KDPI kidney. 

- Standard Criteria Kidney or KDPI 1 to 85%: Comes from a donor, declared brain dead and remains on life support for donation

- Extended Criteria Kidney or KDPI over 85%: Comes from a donor, declared brain dead and remains on life support for donation

- Center for Disease Control (CDC) Increased Risk Donor: Comes from a donor, declared brain dead and remains on life support for donation

The criteria includes:

  • Men who have sex with men
  • IV drug users
  • Hemophiliacs
  • Commercial sex workers (prostitutes)
  • People who have high-risk sex (with any of the above)
  • Exposure to HIV through blood exposure

Living Kidney Donors

**Sacred Heart does not currently perform these procedures but we will refer you to a living donor transplant center.

Living donation occurs when a living person decides to donate one of their kidneys to someone in need of a transplant.

  • When the donor specifies the recipient, it is called directed donation since the donor requests his/her kidney to an identified person.
  • When a donor decides to donate to anyone who needs a kidney transplant, this is called non-directed donation.

Benefits of Living Donor Kidney Transplant
  • Higher success rates when compared to deceased donor transplants
  • Does not use organs from the limited supply of deceased donor organs
  • Tends to work better and for a longer period of time
  • Eliminates waiting time on the UNOS waiting list
  • Allows patients to get off dialysis sooner or possibly never start
  • Allows surgery to be scheduled at a time convenient to the donor and recipient
  • Provides psychological benefits for the donor and recipient 

Sacred Heart Health System and University of Florida Health are collaborating through the University’s Division of Kidney Transplant Surgery, Department of Surgery, College of Medicine.