Here are the necessary steps to get on the national transplant waiting list:
- Obtain a referral from a physician.
- Contact a Transplant Hospital. Learn as much as possible about the 200 plus transplant hospitals in the United States and choose one based on individual needs, including insurance, location, finances, and support group availability.
- Schedule an appointment for evaluation at the transplant hospital to determine if you are an appropriate candidate for a transplant.
- During the evaluation, ask questions to learn as much as possible about the hospital and its transplant team.
- Once the evaluation is completed, the hospital’s transplant team will determine when it is appropriate to be added to the national waiting list.
Under contract with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Health Services & Resources Administration (HRSA), the United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS) maintains a centralized computer network, UNetSM, which links all organ procurement organizations (OPOs) and transplant centers. This centralized computer network is accessible 24 hours a day, seven days a week, with organ placement specialists in the UNOS Organ Center always available to answer questions.
The list is open only to transplant professionals who are members of the Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network. It cannot be accessed by the public.
Patients are not notified by UNOS when they are added to the waiting list. The transplant team that did the evaluation contacts the patient in writing within 10 days and notifies the patient of the date and time their name was added to the list. The patient then directs questions about their status on the waiting list to the transplant center’s transplant team.
Attribution: Lifted from Unos.org 9/13/2007 http://www.transplantliving.org/beforethetransplant/list/waitList.aspx
What is an OPO?
An OPO or Organ Procurement Organization is responsible for evaluating potential donors, discussing donation with family members, arranging for the removal and transport of donated organs, and educating the public about the need for donors. The OPO staff (transplant coordinators) coordinate activities relating to organ donation in states and regional areas throughout the U.S.
Attribution: Lifted from organdonor.gov 07/25/2007