Once you're on the UNOS (United Network for Organ Sharing) heart transplant waiting list, the next phase of your journey begins.
While you wait for your new heart:
All wait times vary.
Placement on the heart transplant waiting list is by the following priority status:
Other factors that may affect your wait time are your:
There also may be a shortage of donor hearts.
While you're on the heart transplant waiting list, you may need to stay in Pittsburgh.
We ask that you live within four hours of UPMC. Once a donor heart is ready, you'll need to get to the hospital quickly to have your transplant.
Family House is an affordable “home away from home” for heart transplant patients and their families.
Maintaining your health as much as possible is crucial during the waiting stage of your heart transplant journey.
If you have advanced heart failure, you may need a ventricular assist device (VAD) as a bridge to transplant. Doctors may implant this device if your size or blood type means you're likely to wait longer for a donor heart.
When we find a good match and assign you a donor heart, your transplant coordinator will call you right away. He or she will let you know what happens next.
While you travel to the hospital, the UPMC heart transplant team continues to assess the donor heart.
If the team finds the heart:
Surgeons must transplant a donor heart within a certain amount of time. You will always need to be within four hours of the hospital while you're on the heart transplant waiting list.
Please inform your transplant coordinator of any travel that will take you outside the four-hour window.
If you must travel, we may place you in an “inactive status” on the list.
Other reasons for an inactive status include:
Contact the UPMC Heart Transplant Program today to make an appointment or refer a patient.