Download PDF Living to Tell: Stories of lives saved by organ donation

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Fact: Donors are needed for all races and ethnic groups. Transplant success rates increase when organs are matched between members of the same ethnic background. Inside the Organ Center: Partnering with the community. What's happening in public comment? See what the community is saying. Waiting for a transplant is not like taking a number and waiting your turn. The waitlist is better described as a giant pool of patients.

UNOS matches individuals waiting for a lifesaving transplant with compatible donor organs. Saving lives together. Facts about organ donation. Learn these facts to better understand organ, eye and tissue donation: Fact: A national computer system and strict standards are in place to ensure ethical and fair distribution of organs.

Read about theological perspectives on organ and tissue donation Fact: An open-casket funeral is possible for organ and tissue donors. Fact: Living donation increases the existing organ supply. Which organs can be transplanted? Are there age limits or medical conditions that rule out organ transplantation? What policies apply to the transplant I need? How do I learn about potential new policies?

Do hospitals in the U. What factors are considered in organ matching and allocation? How does the matching process work? What do I need to do to be considered for a transplant? How do I get on the waiting list?

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How do I know that I am listed? Can I list at more than one hospital? What questions should I ask the transplant team? Are there organizations that can help patients afford the cost of transplantation? How long will I have to wait?


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How will they find the right donor for me? How are organs distributed? Do transplant hospitals in the U. While the specific criteria differ for various organs, matching criteria generally include: blood type and size of the organ s needed time spent awaiting a transplant the relative distance between donor and recipient For certain organs other factors are vital, including: the medical urgency of the recipient the degree of immune-system match between donor and recipient whether the recipient is a child or an adult How does the matching process work?

The matching process contains five steps: An organ is donated. The OPO procurement team reports medical and genetic information, including organ size, and condition, blood type and tissue type. UNOS generates a list of potential recipients. The UNOS computer generates a list of potential transplant candidates who have medical and biologic profiles compatible with the donor.

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The computer ranks candidates by this biologic information, as well as clinical characteristics and time spent on the waiting list. The transplant center is notified of an available organ. The transplant team considers the organ for the patient.

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  • When the team is offered an organ, it bases its acceptance or refusal of the organ upon established medical criteria, organ condition, candidate condition, staff and patient availability and organ transportation. By policy, the transplant team has only one hour to make its decision. The organ is accepted or declined. If the organ is not accepted, the OPO continues to offer it for patients at other centers until it is placed. To get on the national waiting list, you should follow these steps: Receive a referral from your physician.

    Contact a transplant hospital. Schedule an appointment for evaluation to determine if you are a good candidate for transplant. During the evaluation, ask questions to learn as much as possible about that hospital and its transplant team. Each hospital has their own criteria for accepting candidates for transplant. What kind of medical tests are done in an evaluation?

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    What medical conditions might rule me out for a transplant listing? Who are the members of the transplant team and what are their jobs? How many attending surgeons are available to do my type of transplant? Who will tell me about the transplant process?

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    Is there a special nursing unit for transplant patients? Can I tour the transplant center? Will I be asked to take part in research studies? Does the hospital do living donor transplants?

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    • Is a living donor transplant a choice in my case? If so, where will the living donor evaluation be done? What is the organ recovery cost if I have a living donor? What part of the transplant cost is covered by my insurance?

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      What financial coverage is accepted by the hospital? How much will I have to pay? What happens if my financial coverage runs out?