Patients on the heart transplant wait list or patients waiting for any other organ transplant will do well to understand the functions of the United Network of Organ Sharing (UNOS) and its partner the Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network (OPTN). The information below is available 24/7 at the OPTN Database. Once you learn to navigate the database, you can understand the activity in the nation, the region and the specific center or centers where you are listed.
|Wait list candidates as of 7:02pm on January 2nd, 2012. All candidates will be less than the sum due to candidates waiting for multiple organs because some patients need more than one organ.|
In 2011, 1,760 patients on the heart wait list received heart transplants. That figure represents a decrease from the 2,333 hearts transplanted in 2010 and the 2,211 in 2009.
As of September 30, 2011, 10,558 donors had contributed organs for transplant.
Currently there are 3,124 patients awaiting heart transplantation in the U.S. This figure changes immediately depending on adjustments. Below is a breakdown of patients currently on the wait list and actual transplants by region:
Region 1 – Connecticut, Maine, Mass, New Hampshire, Rhode Island – Currently on the wait list = 193. Transplants in 2011 = 69
Region 2 – Delaware, District of Columbia, Maryland, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, West Virginia – Currently on wait list = 320 – Transplants in 2011 = 232
Region 3 – Arkansas, Louisiana, Alabama, Georgia, Florida, Puerto Rico and Mississippi – Currently there are 326 patients waiting for hearts. In 2011, 233 patients received heart transplants.
Region 4 – Texas, Oklahoma – 453 patients are on the heart transplant wait list. 171 patients received transplants in 2011.
Region 5 – Arizona, California, Nevada, New Mexico and Utah – 307 patients are on the wait list for hearts. 255 heart transplants were performed in 2011.
Region 6 – Alaska, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Washington – 91 patients are waiting –44 patients received hearts in 2011.
Region 7 – Illinois, Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, Wisconsin – Currently waiting are 389 candidates. 175 heart transplants were performed in 2011.
Region 8 – Colorado, Iowa, Kansas, Neb – 157 on the heart transplant wait list. 118 heart transplants were performed in 2011.
Region 9 – New York, Vermont – 284 heart patients on wait list. 126 patients received hearts in 2011.
Region 10 – Ohio, Michigan, Indiana – Currently 276 patients are waiting. 141 heart transplants were performed in 2011.
The breakdown of heart transplants by blood type in 2011 are listed below:
Type O = 719 Waiting = 1751
- Type A = 711 Waiting = 1015
- Type B = 238 Waiting = 327
Type AB = 92 Waiting = 70
Below are the statuses on the current heart transplant wait list:
Status 1A = 276
Status 1B =935
Staus 2 = 1,0167
Status 7 = 938
To better understand the responsibilities of UNOS and OPTN, please continue to read.
The United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS) was established in 1986. The agency is mandated by Congress to be a private – public non-profit governing body of the practice of organ transplantation. The UNOS mission statement is “to advance organ availability and transplantation by uniting and supporting our communities for the benefit of patients through education, technology and policy development.”
Candidates for transplantation should understand the role and interaction between UNOS and the Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network (OPTN). The OPTN is the unified transplant network established by the United States Congress under the National Organ Transplant Act (NOTA) of 1984. The act called for the network to be operated by a private, non-profit organization under federal contract.
The Board of Directors for UNOS and OPTN are the same. Board members are chosen through an open, comprehensive nomination process. The members bring a wealth of commitment and technical knowledge to guide the OPTN in establishing and maintaining policies and procedures for organ transplantation.
Under the OPTN contract with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Health Services and Resources Administration, UNOS maintains a centralized computer network linking all organ procurement organizations and transplant centers. This computer network is accessible 24 hours a day, seven days a week, with organ placement specialists in the UNOS Organ Center always available to answer questions.
UNOS is charged to review and ensure that the organization reflects the industry best practices. Another important purpose of UNOS is to ensure the integrity of the organ award program.
In October, 1999, UNOS launched a new system called UNet. This system is responsible collection, storage and analysis for patients awaiting transplantation, organ matching and transplant patients. This data serves many purposes, including success rates for specific transplant centers.
UNet is a 24/7 database that persons can access to evaluate the success rates of specific centers, the number of wait list patients by a number of categories such as:
- Organ Type
- Blood type
- Number of patients waiting
- Number of transplant recipients
This information is posted on the OPTN website.
UNet serves these primary purposes:
UNet is used by all of the nation’s organ transplant programs, organ procurement organizations, and “histocompatibility” or tissue typing laboratories working cooperatively to efficiently share a limited number of donated organs among thousands of patients.