Experts Determine Candidates for Heart Transplant
The multidisciplinary team at University Hospitals Transplant Institute decides if a patient should be a candidate for a heart transplant after a thorough review of test results, physical exam, medical history, social assessment and doctor recommendations. All decisions about heart transplant candidacy are made by the team as a group and discussed with the patient by the physician or transplant nurse coordinator.
Once accepted for a heart transplant, the patient is placed on the United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS) transplant waiting list.
Heart Transplant Waiting List
The time a person may spend on the wait list for a heart transplant is variable depending on many factors, but most patients can expect to be on the list for a year or more, depending on their blood type and other medical conditions.
While the patient is on the heart transplant waiting list, our transplant team will continue to follow-up regularly to provide medical care and monitor quality of life.
Patients can be listed for a heart transplant at two or more transplant centers at the same time. The patient must be evaluated at each center for approval for listing because each transplant center has their own selection criteria. Patients should notify the UH Transplant Institute if they are planning to list at other transplant centers.
Receiving the Call
When the transplant team identifies a suitable donor heart for the patient, a transplant coordinator calls the patient to notify them. The patient is then asked to come to University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center to begin preparing for surgery.
These things will need to be done before the transplant:
- Your healthcare provider will explain the procedure and let you ask questions.
- You will be asked to sign a consent form that gives your permission to do the surgery.
- You should not eat or drink anything (fast) as soon as you have been told that a heart has become available.
- Based on your health condition, your healthcare provider may request other specific preparation.