People in Washington State who may be in need of an organ transplant will want to educate themselves about the process involved in receiving a new organ. As explained by WebMD, there are multiple types of transplants conducted today and a wide variety of organs that are transplanted. In most cases, the donor has died but some transplants may include a live donor.
There are more than 200 transplant centers in the United States and a patient maybe referred to one by their physician. However, patients are not required to work with the center closest to them or that their doctor recommends. People should feel free to do their own research on different centers to select the one they feel is best for their circumstances. Every transplant center is allowed to develop its own criteria for accepting or denying a potential transplant recipient. A physician's recommendation is required to receive an evaluation at a transplant center, however.
Once a person has been approved as an organ recipient by a transplant center, their name is placed on the waiting list for the intended organ. This list is managed by the United Network for Organ Sharing. Through UNOS' computerized system, donors and recipients can be matched. The requirements for a match can vary depending on the organ involved. For example, immune system compatibility is one factor evaluated for a kidney transplant but this is not a requirement for a heart transplant.
Children generally have priority for organs although the size of the organs and the recipient body must align so there may be cases when an organ is available that is too large for a child so it goes to an adult.