- Download Doctor's Visit ChecklistHere are a few items that you should bring to your doctor appointments. Download PDF
- Download Questions You May Have Before TransplantHere is a discussion guide that offers topics you may want to talk about with your transplant team. Download PDF
- Download Keep a Record of Your TestsThis form helps you to keep track of the tests you need, as well as any questions or concerns to address with your transplant team. Download PDF
- Download Appointment TrackerThis form helps you to keep track of your medical appointments, as well as any questions or concerns you might want to discuss with your transplant team. Download PDF
- Download Understanding Life After Organ TransplantFrequently asked questions about life after organ transplant. Download PDF
- Download Transplant TeamDownload this tool for more information about the possible roles and responsibilities of the members of your transplant team. Download PDF
- Download Medicine TrackerDates and other details about medicines you may be taking can be recorded and discussed with your transplant team. Download PDF
- Download Hospital Packing ChecklistHere are a few things to remember to bring with you to the hospital. Download PDF
- Download Things to Know Before Your TransplantHere are some of the things you should know before transplant. Download PDF
- Download Questions You May Have After TransplantThis is a discussion guide that offers topics you may want to talk about with your transplant team. Download PDF
- Download Living Organ DonationProvides information on becoming an organ donor, including a list of helpful resources. Download PDF
- Download 20 Tips That May Help You Follow a Healthy DietIt’s important to consult your transplant team before changing your diet. Here are some tips you can discuss with them. Download PDF
- Download Your Guide to Liver TransplantsIf you are waiting for a liver transplant or wondering if it is a possibility for you, this brochure may help answer some of your questions. Download PDF
- Download Your Guide to Living Kidney DonationThis brochure answers many common questions about living kidney donations for people considering becoming a living donor. Download PDF
- Download Understanding Cytomegalovirus (CMV)Learn about cytomegalovirus (CMV) and ways to prevent infection. Download PDF
- Download Your Guide to Heart TransplantsIf you are waiting for a heart transplant or wondering if it is a possibility for you, this brochure may help answer some of your questions. Download PDF
- Download Wellness Guide: Your Life After TransplantThis Wellness Guide is for patients who are planning to receive an organ transplant or who have started life as a transplant recipient. Download PDF
- Download Your Guide to Kidney TransplantsIf you are waiting for a kidney transplant or wondering if it is a possibility for you, this brochure may help answer some of your questions. Download PDF
American Society of Transplantation (AST)
AST is an organization of more than 3,000 transplant professionals dedicated to research, education, advocacy, and patient care in transplantation.
American Transplant Association (ATA)
ATA is a non-profit organization dedicated to providing education and services to those affected by organ transplant.
Children’s Organ Transplant Association (COTA)
COTA helps children and young adults who need transplants by providing fundraising help and family support.
Gift of Life
6405 Metcalf Ave, Suite 109, Overland Park,
Gift of Life builds awareness of the critical need for organ and tissue donation and provides help to transplant patients, their families, and living donors.
Help Hope Live (formerly National Transplant Assistance Fund)
Help Hope Live helps people raise money for transplants.
Medscape provides information about transplants.
National Foundation for Transplants
The National Foundation for Transplants is a fundraising organization benefiting thousands of transplant candidates and recipients.
Visit the site for a state-by-state listing of support groups.
TransWeb features real people’s experiences, the top 10 myths about donation, frequently asked questions with answers, as well as videos of U.S. and World Transplant Games.
United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS)
UNOS is the private, nonprofit organization that manages the nation’s organ transplant system under contract with the federal government.
For heart transplant recipients
American Heart Association
The American Heart Association provides information on how to build healthier lives, free of heart and blood vessel diseases and stroke.
For kidney transplant recipients
American Association of Kidney Patients (AAKP)
The American Association of Kidney Patients is a national nonprofit organization founded by kidney patients.
American Kidney Fund (AKF)
The American Kidney Fund fights kidney disease through direct financial support to patients in need, health education, and prevention efforts.
Kidney Options is an educational resource for people who have or know people who have kidney disease. Kidney Options is also a resource for health care professionals who guide patients and their families to the best treatment option for them.
National Forum of ESRD (End-stage Renal Disease) Networks
The Forum of ESRD Networks advocates for the organizations that check the quality of chronic kidney disease, dialysis, and kidney transplant care in the United States.
National Kidney Foundation
The National Kidney Foundation, a major voluntary nonprofit health organization, is dedicated to preventing kidney and urinary tract diseases, improving the health and well-being of individuals and families affected by kidney disease, and increasing the availability of all organs for transplantation.
For liver transplant recipients
American Liver Foundation
The mission of the American Liver Foundation is to facilitate, advocate, and promote education, support, and research for the prevention, treatment, and cure of liver disease.
Hepatitis Foundation International
The goal of the Hepatitis Foundation International is to educate people and give them the latest, most reliable information so they can make well-informed decisions for their own or their loved ones’ health.
Additional resources about the donor process
If you are in need of a transplant, your transplant organ may come from a living donor such as a family member, friend, or even a donor you don’t know. If a living donor is not available for you, your transplant organ may come from someone who has just passed away and requested that his or her organs be donated. If this is the case, you will be placed on a national waiting list by an organization called the United Network for Organ Sharing, or UNOS.
Each time an organ becomes available, a transplant coordinator from an organ procurement organization, or OPO, enters medical information about the donor into the UNOS computer system. UNOS then works to make sure the organ is given to the best possible match, taking these things into consideration:
- Level of illness
- Medical necessity
- Similarities between donor and patient
- Ability of the candidate to have the transplant at that time
If more than one person is identified as a match for an available organ, the person who has been on the waiting list the longest will be considered first.
Donated organs are also provided according to geographic location, so you would most likely be considered for an organ donation closest to your transplant center. However, patients may be considered for organs that become available in other areas. This is known as "multiple listing." Each transplant center has its own rules about whom it accepts as a candidate, and it may not accept patients who are listed at other centers.
If you wish to be listed at more than one center, you should let each center know. Also, when considering a transplant center, think about:
- Whether it would be easy for you to get there
- The average wait time of that center
- Its transplant success rates
- The availability of a support system
- The cost of living in that area before and after the transplant
The transplant team is always working to make sure that you continue to be a candidate for a transplant. While you are on the waiting list, you will have blood tests every month so that early match testing can be done with organs that become available. You will also have routine clinic visits to monitor your health and the health of the organ that needs to be replaced. These steps ensure that you will be as prepared as possible when a transplant organ is found for you.
Organ donor resources
Association of Organ Procurement Organizations (AOPO)
AOPO is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the special concerns of OPOs, providing education, information, and collaboration with other healthcare organizations and federal agencies.
Gift of Life Donor Program
The Gift of Life Donor Program coordinates transplants for those waiting and supports the generous donors and their families who have chosen to donate.
LifeGift strives to save and enhance lives by increasing organ and tissue donation.
The American Organ Transplant Association
The American Organ Transplant Association helps patients lead happy, productive lives by providing information about getting transplants.
Transplant Recipients International Organization (TRIO), Inc.
TRIO is an independent, not-for-profit, international organization committed to improving the quality of life of transplant candidates, recipients, their families, and the families of organ and tissue donors.