Waiting for the donor
Once the transplant list determines the patient as a candidate for the transplant, the transplant centre registers him/her and adds the name to the waiting list. The number of people that require lung transplants far exceeds the number of lungs available for performing the procedure. There are chances that people may die waiting for a transplant.
While the patient is on the list, the team at GGH BGS hospital closely monitors his/her condition and alters the treatment as needed. The doctors recommend healthy lifestyle changes like eating a healthy diet, getting regular exercise, and avoiding tobacco.
It is recommended for the patients to join the pulmonary rehabilitation program while waiting for the donor’s lung. Rehabilitation programs help to improve the health and ability to function every day before and after the transplant.
When the donor organ is finally available, the donor-recipient matching system administered by United Networks for Organ Sharing (UNOS) looks for a match based on a specific criterion, which includes:
- Blood type
- The measure of the organ compared to the chest cavity
- Geographic distance between donor lung and the recipient
- Level of the recipient’s lung disease
- Recipient’s overall health
- Chances for the success of the transplant
Lungs are usually donated by deceased people. If the donor is a living person, the transplant can take place at a planned time. The potential donor will have a compatible blood type, with good health. Psychological tests will be performed on the donor to ensure that she/he agrees with the decision.