Ascension Sacred Heart Kidney Transplant Program

Ascension Sacred Heart Kidney Transplant Program

  • Specialty Care
Mon - Fri 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Kidney Transplant Services

Deceased Kidney Donors

Although in the future the Ascension Sacred Heart Kidney Transplant Program intends to perform living donor kidney transplants in Pensacola, currently our program is performing only deceased donor kidney transplants. If you are referred to our program and have potential living donors please let us know at the time of evaluation and 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 still encourage potential recipients who live in our region to list here for a deceased kidney donor in case their potential donor is unable to donate.

A new kidney allocation system was put in place in December of 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 score is called the Kidney Donor Profile Index (KDPI). The KDPI score is used to designate the current groups of Standard Criteria Donor (SCD) and Extended Criteria Donor (ECD) kidneys. The ECD kidney is 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. Patient must consent to be considered for ECD kidneys. 

  • 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
  • A third type of donor is Center for Disease Control (CDC) Increased Risk Donor. These donors are declared brain dead and remain on life support for donation. They have, however, engaged in one or more of the following behaviors or have other characteristics that increases the risk of transmission of infections during transplantation including:
    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

    Because these donors are at slightly higher risk for transmission of infections with transplantation, they can only be used for transplant with the recipient's consent. Your transplant team will educate you about the risks and benefits of considering these donors. 


Living Kidney Donors

**Ascension 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 


To be considered a living donor the person must be 18 years or older (able to consent). In general living donors must be healthy, freely willing to donate, and have two healthy kidneys. Although there is no upper age limit for donation, donors under the age of 60 years old are preferred. If you do identify someone who is interested in being a donor please let us know at the time of evaluation so we can make to appropriate referrals so you may receive a living donor transplant if possible.


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