Lung TransplantationWhat is a lung transplant?
A lung transplant is an operation done to remove a diseased lung from a patient and replace it with a healthy one from another person. Lung transplantation may involve a single, double or in combination with other organs.
Why is a lung transplant recommended?
|Lung transplantation is a treatment option for children and young adults with end-stage lung disease. Diseases that may require a lung transplant include the following:|
Lung transplants can now be performed in all ages - from newborn to adult. Your child's physician will discuss the lung transplant selection criteria with you.
Lung transplant statistics:
|According to June 2001 statistics available from the United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS):|
Where do transplanted organs come from?
|The majority of lungs that are transplanted come from deceased organ donors. Organ donors are adults or children who have died. Donors can come from any part of the United States. This type of transplant is called a "cadaveric" transplant. In rare cases living adults are able to donate a part of their lung to someone else. This is called a "living-donor" transplant.|
How are transplanted organs allocated?
|The United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS) is responsible for transplant organ distribution in the United States. UNOS oversees the allocation of many different types of transplants, including liver, kidney, pancreas, heart, lung and cornea. |
|UNOS receives data from hospitals and medical centers throughout the country regarding adults and children who need organ transplants. The medical team that currently follows your child is responsible for sending the data to UNOS and updating them as your child's condition changes. |
|Criteria have been developed to ensure that all people on the waiting list are judged fairly as to the severity of their illness and the urgency of receiving a transplant. |
How is a child placed on the waiting list for a new lung?
|Tests are done to gather information that will help determine how urgent it is that your child is placed on the transplant list, as well as ensure the child receives a donor organ that is a good match. These tests include those to analyze the general health of the body, including the child's heart, lung and kidney function, the child's nutritional status and the presence of infection. |
|The diagnostic tests that are performed are extensive, but necessary to understand the complete medical status of your child. The following are some of the other tests that may be performed, although many of the tests are decided on an individual basis:|
The transplant team will consider all information from interviews, your child's medical history, physical examination and diagnostic tests in determining whether your child can be a candidate for lung transplantation.
The lung transplant team:
|The group of specialists involved in the care of children who are undergoing a transplant procedure is often referred to as the "transplant team." Each individual works together to provide the best chance for a successful transplant. The lung transplant team consists of: |
How long will it take to get a new lung?
|There is no definite answer to this question. It may take one to two years on the waiting list before a suitable donor lung is available. During this time, your child will have close follow-up with physicians and the transplant team. Various support groups are also available to assist you during this waiting time.|
How are we notified when a lung is available?
|Each transplant team has their own specific guidelines regarding waiting on the transplant list and being notified when a donor organ is available. In most instances, you will be notified by phone or pager that an organ is available. You will be told to come to the hospital immediately so your child can be prepared for the transplant.|
Lung transplant follow-up:
|Your child will have very close follow-up with the transplant team after leaving the hospital. This will allow for close monitoring of your child and the function of the transplanted lung. |
|Children who have received a lung transplant will need life-long follow-up with physicians who are specialized in transplant medicine.|
|Every child is unique and every transplant is different. Results continually improve as physicians and scientists learn more about how the body deals with transplanted organs and search for ways to improve transplantation. |
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