Dialysis and Kidney Transplantation: Walking through the Process with Amy Waterman
Amy Waterman directs the Transplant Research and Education Center at UCLA. She works with patients navigating any disease of the kidney and helps educate them on corresponding choices, from dialysis treatment to getting on a transplant list.
- How the general process works as a patient enters their center, from considering treatment options to seeking a donor,
- What the statistics are in the donor-transplant relationship and the range of donor options, and
- How the physical process works for transplantation and what are risk factors compared to the dialysis process.
In addition to directing the Transplant Center, Amy D. Waterman is a Professor in Residence at the University of California in Los Angeles in the division of nephrology. She's a psychologist with an expertise on managing patient behavior toward healthy goals.
At the center, she works alongside nephrologists and other professionals to guide patents through choices and the complicated process of facing kidney disease. She researches and tests methods that might help educate and engage patients and evaluates how to work more effectively with providers.
She describes for listeners the process a patient moves through, from typical questions they have to choices they can make, and for those that need a transplant, how to enter into searches for a donation from family members to strangers to someone who has passed away. She adds that there is a donor contingent called non-directed donors. These are strangers who step forward and offer a kidney as a living donor.
In fact, over 6,000 living people donate a kidney each year. Dr. Waterman also describes the physical process of donation, what might be in the works for kidney disease cures, and how she became involved with this important work in the first place.