UNOS Donor Matching Process

  1. A liver is donated from a person who just died.
  2. The donor’s medical information is put into the UNOS database.
  3. UNOS notifies the Children’s Liver Transplant coordinator that a liver is available.
  4. The pediatric liver transplant surgeon and team review whether to accept or decline the organ. This is based on whether the liver is the best match for your child.
  5. The Children’s Liver Transplant coordinator calls you when a liver is available and a match.
  6. To understand how patients are matched on the national waiting list:
    • Think of the list as a “pool” of patients.
    • When an organ is available, UNOS searches the entire “pool” for a match.
    • The liver is given to the child with the highest PELD score and with the same blood type and size.

    Other factors include:

    • The patient’s current medical status
    • Location of the liver and the child
    • Amount of time that the child has been on the waiting list
    • Blood type: your child can receive a liver from a person with the same or with a different blood type.
      • The same blood type: The four most common blood types are O, A, B and AB. Pediatric liver transplants are typically performed with the same blood type. This also includes type O, which is a “universal donor” and can be given to types A or B.
      • A different blood type: Under urgent conditions your child may receive a different blood type liver, such as a blood type A to type B.