Waiting for Your Heart Transplant

Once you have been evaluated and confirmed as a candidate for a heart transplant, your name and other statistics will be entered into a national database. You will then be “listed” with patients from all over the country and from many other transplant programs.

List Status

A match is made for you based on body size, weight, and blood type. Listing status depends on the severity of your illness and, to some extent, the length of time waiting. Because organs are donated in a spirit of altruism and are considered a national resource, it is only right that those organs be allocated in an equitable manner. It is also important that all donated organs are well-matched donor organs and for as many people as possible.

There are currently six medical urgency statuses for patients actively being considered for transplantation. Our transplant program must report data to the United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS) about your current treatment and symptoms. Status 1 is the most urgent and status 6 is the least urgent.

Your status may change if symptoms get better or worse. Your transplant team is the best source of current information regarding your status and treatment options.

You may also contact UNOS Patient Services at 1-888-894-6361.

Being listed does not guarantee continued listing at the original status. During the course of your care, unfortunate events and circumstances can arise. These circumstances may change your suitability as a transplant candidate and the transplant team might decide to remove a candidate from the list on a temporary basis or permanently. You will be informed of any changes of your listing status.

Follow-Up Care While You Wait for a Heart Transplant

We are unable to determine how long the waiting period will be. You will be expected to follow up with our outpatient clinic as directed and come in to have blood work drawn once a month for the NJ Sharing Network. We encourage you to attend some of the support group meetings and you may be asked to come in for educational classes.

Patient Stories

  • “Everyone who took care of me did an amazing job.”

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  • Walter knew that his new heart was coming and he was right.

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Patient Stories

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