The Waiting List
An up to date list of all patients awaiting transplantation is kept by the transplant team. No one can predict how long you will have to wait for your transplant; this is determined by the availability of suitable donor organs and not necessarily by the length of time that you have been waiting.
Selection of recipients is based on:
- specific factors affecting the suitability of a donor organ for you e.g blood group, size (height and weight), results of antibody tests and tissue typing
- your clinical condition
Once you are on the waiting list a suitable organ may become available in a few days but it may take many months or even years. During this waiting period you may be reviewed by your local hospital and transplant unit. You will need to attend regular clinic reviews where your status on the list will be assessed.
Your referring doctor will still be responsible for your care during this period. If your condition changes, new treatment is started, or if you deteriorate between your visits you, your carer or your referring doctor should keep the transplant team informed.
If there are any changes in your condition whilst you are on the list the doctors may need to re-evaluate your suitability for a transplant and if necessary remove your name from the list, either temporarily (to allow for your treatment), or permanently. If this happens you will be informed and given an explanation and a follow up plan.
Unfortunately, suitable organs do not become available in time for everybody who has been put on a waiting list. Some patients therefore may die whilst on the waiting list. This is a very sad reality which you and your relatives should understand.