April 25th, 2013 | It’s one of the leading medical issues of our time: human donor organs are in extremely short supply, while nearly 20 Americans die daily waiting for a life-saving transplant. So, why aren’t more people giving the gift of life through organ donation? In many cases, family members aren’t even aware of the potential donor’s decision,… Continue Reading
There are over 100,000 people waiting for an organ transplant at any given time. At Riley Hospital for Children at IU Health, we are are proud to have short wait times, allowing us to perform a large volume of transplants. Transplant wait lists are governed by the Organ Procurement and Transplant Network (OPTN). OPTN is a national organ sharing system that, among other things, aims to ensure fairness in the allocation of organs for transplant. A division of this organization is the nonprofit United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS), which maintains a central computer network containing the names of all patients waiting for kidney, heart, liver, lung, intestine, pancreas and multiple-organ transplants.
When a child has been evaluated and accepted as a candidate for a transplantation by a transplant center, specific information is entered into UNOS during registration. Children are considered for available organs based on a combination of medical facts entered into a computerized matching program. These factors include:
- Blood and tissue type
- Medical urgency
- Body size
- Distance between the donor and transplant hospital
- Time spent waiting for a transplant
After the information is entered into UNOS, the individual is registered into a giant pool of patients where there is no ranking or patient order until there is a donor.
As a part of the IU Health Transplant center, the Riley transplant surgeons are committed to finding organs for our patients. Our team travels the country to secure life-saving organs for our patients. We go above and beyond to take a second look at organs other programs reject and evaluate organs in person. This dedication ensures that you find an organ match as quickly as possible.