The Waiting Process
You might think that as soon as your diagnosed to an organ transplant, doctors whisk you away to the hospital for immediate surgery, but if you thought that, you thought wrong.
Often it takes months, or even years to get a organ that matches your blood type, or from a person about the same size as you are. First the patient is diagnosed, and if all other medical treatments have been explored, organ transplantation is considered.
Next a transplant team assesses the patientís attitude, emotional state and medical history. That decides if the patient is suitable for a transplant. If the transplant team approves of the patient they contact the UNOS Organ Center and the patient is placed on the national waiting list. When an organ is available, the resident OPO (Organ Procurement Organization) enters information about the donor into a computer program created by UNOS.
Fourthly, based on a prearranged criteria, the computer program generates a list of likely recipients. The OPO will then immediately contact the transplant team of the first person on the waiting list. Based on the donorís information, the transplant team can accept or reject the organ. If the team accepts the organ the patient is notified and arrangements for surgery are made immediately. Finally patient and donor are brought to the hospital and the surgical procedure takes place as promptly as possible.