It has been  some time since I posted re my final evaluation test, the CT Scan (October 2009). Following that I got HTA approval and I donated my kidney.  Here is an account of that and the operation and my recovery.  There is quite a lot to comment on so I will do it in separate posts. It may take a couple of days to fully post.

Independent Assessor Report and HTA (Human Tissue Authority) approval to donate my kidney.

My last and final evaluation test was the CT Scan in October 2009. That all went well and an appointment was made for me to see the Independent Assessor (IA). The IA is totally separate from the medical teams that have dealt with me, he acts as the HTA (Human Tissue Authority) representative and sends a report to the HTA for approval.

This was a very straightforward interview.  He had a report in front of him, sent presumably by my transplant team, and he checked to make sure all the required evaluation tests had been done. I needed to produce evidence of who I was. I forget now what I took, but all I have is birth certificate, photo ID driving license and an expired passport! So maybe I took all three.

He asked me if I knew what his role in all this was. I did. He then asked me a few questions to make sure I really understood what I was wanting to do.  Whether the hospital have explained procedures, risks etc to me and that I fully understood the risks including the mortality rates. He also asked if I knew why the surgeon may decide to not do keyhole surgery and may opt to do open surgery once the operation had already started. I said I did, that the surgeon may find there are complications and that it would be safer to then do open surgery. He ensured that I was donating voluntarily and not under any duress by anyone to do this. Also that no financial incentive was being offered to me.  He made sure that I understood that I can withdraw my consent any time up until I am anaesthetised. (Bit hard to do it after that I suppose .. lol!).

He seemed more than satisfied that everything was in order. I fully expected him to then say goodbye and that I would hear from them in a week or so to say the request for HTA approval had been submitted. But to my surprise he actually submitted the form to the HTA for approval there and then on his computer. Yeah for modern technology!!

He told me that we should hear back within a week or maybe a bit longer. Once the HTA give their approval you then have 6 months from that date in which to complete the donation. 

Few days later I had an appointment with my Consultant. He looked at all the notes and on his computer called up the images that were taken during the scan of my kidneys. My right kidney was smaller than the left. It was working at 42% and my left kidney at 58%. He said it would be the right kidney that will be used, leaving me with the larger kidney. He was more than happy for the donation to take place.

The  hospital  informed me that I had received approval from the HTA … what a wonderful feeling that was. For the first time true excitement was now beginning to build up. Everything that I and the transplant team had worked towards was now very much a reality! I felt so very very happy. I could not stop grinning all day long. It was such a wonderful moment to hear those words. I can’t describe just how brilliant it was. It was like hearing I had got top marks in an exam. I was on cloud 9 for the rest of the day!

All we had to do now was get me registered with UK Transplant and so find a recipient.

Next Post: A recipient for my kidney


2 Responses to “Conclusion of Evaluation tests & HTA (Human Tissue Authority) approval”

  • Violet:

    I have heard of the HTA via your blog and other resources but never really knew exactly what they did. Reading their website they seem to play a very important role indeed and a very valuable one. When you say you had to have their permission to donate. What did that involve?

  • Diane:

    Hello Violet,
    Thank you for commenting.
    As for the HTA permission, once all the evaluation tests had been done, then an Independant Assessor (IA) who was appointed by the HTA and who was totally separate from the Live Donor Team, interviewed me. He asked me questions to make sure I knew fully the risks involved, that I understood exactly what I was offering to do. Asked quetions to check I had not been coerced in any way that I freely was offering to do this. We talked about the two different types of operation etc. Gosh I am forgetting now what else. Oh yes, and that I knew at any time I could pull out, right up until the anaesthetic (bit difficult after then, lol). He had paperwork in front of him detailing the evaluation tests I had and he made sure they were all done etc. I also had to prove who I was by bringing photo ID. Maybe other things as well he asked. Once he was satisfied that all was in order and that I was fully informed of all that I needed to be and he was happy that I understood everything and that I could say No still, he then filled in an online form and submitted it to the HTA seeking approval for me to donate. Because I was donating to a stranger a committee has to get together at the HTA to approve or otherwise my donation. If I was donating to a family member or friend then just one authorised person at the HTA approves.

    I think I have covered most of it there but if you want more information check out the HTA website there is loads of information on there about all they do which is not just about Live donations.

    All the best

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