The Listing Process

Once the patient has completed the consultations and evaluation process, and deemed an appropriate candidate for transplantation, he or she is placed on the national transplantation list. This list is registered with the United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS) computerized data network.

UNOS is a non-profit scientific and educational organization that advances organ availability and transplantation across the nation.


  • manages the national transplant waiting list
  • matches donors to recipients 24 hours a day, 365 days a year
  • monitors every organ donated and transplanted in the United States
  • maximizes the limited supply of organs
  • gives all patients an equal chance at receiving a needed organ regardless of age, sex, ethnicity or religion; lifestyle, financial or social status
  • maintains a database containing all clinical transplant data

The federal government regulates UNOS to ensure that all organs are made available to waiting patients in a fair and equitable process. Any cadaveric organ donated or transplanted in the United States is registered and tracked through UNOS.

Some of the information included with each listing:

  • medical history
  • physical measurements
  • blood and tissue type

When donor organs become available, the list is consulted. For kidney and kidney/pancreas, priority is determined by blood type, length of time on the list and crossmatching .