How do I get on the Organ Transplant List?

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  • Written By: K. Gierok
  • Edited By: C. Wilborn
  • Last Modified Date: 14 October 2019
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Awaiting an organ transplant can be a very difficult time, for the patient as well as for his or her family. To get on the organ transplant list, you need to have a referral from a doctor and be evaluated by a transplant hospital, which will then decide if you should be on the list. In order to achieve optimal results when trying to get on the organ transplant list, patients are typically encouraged to lose weight, improve their fitness level, and find a good hospital that specializes in their particular area of care. In addition, patients who smoke, drink excessive amounts of alcohol, or use illegal drugs must quit immediately.

Patients who are interested in getting on the organ transplant list must first increase their fitness level as much as possible. Those who are weak and overweight are often prohibited from receiving a transplant, as they often have poor health even after a transplant. Often, patients who are awaiting a transplant are encouraged to participate in a variety of different types of rehabilitation programs in order to lose weight and improve their cardiovascular health. Possible transplant patients are also encouraged to stick to a diet that contains low amounts of fat and high amounts of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.


It's also a good idea to choose a medical center that is skilled in performing the specific type of transplant necessary as part of getting on the organ transplant list. Typically, the best organ transplant hospitals have high survival rates, as well as a number of physicians and other specialist who are skilled in a particular area of care. A patient who is in need of an organ transplant must often receive a referral from his or her primary care physician in order to obtain care through one of these specialty hospitals.

In order to get on the organ transplant list, patients who smoke, use excessive amounts of alcohol, or engage in illegal drug use must stop immediately. Engaging in these behaviors will typically eliminate patients from being possible transplant recipients. In addition, depending on the particular type of transplant that is needed, tobacco use may also eliminate someone from being a candidate for transplant. Any patient who is using these items should come up with a plan to quit with his or her doctor as soon as possible in order to achieve optimal status on the organ transplant list.

Those who are interested in receiving an organ transplant are usually encouraged to obtain as much information about the particular disease that they are suffering from as possible. This knowledge will be useful when the patient is talking to clinicians who are involved in the transplant decision making process. It's also important that the patient or family ask the transplant team any questions about the process itself so that they understand what to expect and what is expected of them.


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Post 2

@Rotergirl -- Yeah, I wonder about some people, too. But like you, I want to believe in the system and believe that these unselfish donors and families gave these organs to people who really need them and who will go on to live productive lives afterward.

I don't think I could have it on my conscience that I was living like an idiot after I had some kind of transplant. To me, that's the desecration of a sacred gift. It breaks the trust the donor's family put in the system. To me, being an organ recipient is a lifelong commitment to honor a life that ended, and in ending, gave me life.

Post 1

So you have to stop smoking and all illegal drug use, eh? Did anyone drug test David Crosby before he got his liver transplant? I hope so. I'd like to believe in the system, but I've seen too many people get turned down for transplants because their overall health wasn't good enough, but I can't believe Crosby was in much better shape than some people I knew who were turned down. Call me a cynic.

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