How are organs and tissues allocated?

When a patient needs a transplant, his or her name is added to the National Transplant Waiting List. The United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS) is the federally authorized organization that oversees the list and works with organ donation professionals as organs become available for transplant. Strict federal guidelines ensure the ethical and equitable distribution of donated organs. Donation coordinators obtain information about blood type and genetic makeup for each transplantable organ. This information is matched against a list of suitable recipients, with factors such as medical urgency, tissue and blood type, body size and length of time on the transplant waiting list used to help prioritize need. Organs are first offered to patients in the immediate service area. If no suitable match is found, the organs are offered regionally and then nationally. There is no discrimination due to age, sex, race, occupation or social or financial status when determining who receives an organ.




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