Listing and Waiting for a Kidney Transplant at Virtua
Once your evaluation is complete, and the Virtua team determines you're eligible for a kidney transplant, you'll be placed on a national waiting list managed by the United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS), the organization authorized by the federal government to maintain the database for all transplants in the United States.
The length of time patients need to wait for an organ varies greatly. The average wait time for a kidney in the South Jersey region is two to six years.
When a Kidney Becomes Available
When a donor organ becomes available, the UNOS system will generate a list of potential recipients based on objective criteria, including:
- Blood type
- Tissue type
- Size of the organ
- Medical urgency of the patient
- Time spent on the waiting list
- The distance between the hospital where the organ was donated and the potential recipient
Ethnicity, gender, religion and financial status are not part of the matching system.
When you're matched with a donor kidney, a Virtua transplant nurse coordinator will call you to ask you to come immediately to Virtua Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital in Camden. It's important that you and your support people are reachable at all times.
Listing at More Than One Center
Because the wait time for a kidney can be several years, UNOS allows patients to be listed at more than one transplant center. This is called multiple listing, and may increase your opportunities to receive an organ sooner.
You may be listed with both the Virtua Center for Organ Transplantation and any other hospital that provides transplant services. Please check with your insurance carrier to determine coverage of multiple listing evaluation services.
To learn more about multiple listing, download this brochure from UNOS or contact the Virtua kidney and pancreas transplant coordinator.