When the organ transplantation coordinator calls to tell you that an organ has been located, you will be instructed to report to the admissions area. The transplant coordinator will tell you that you cannot have anything to eat or drink before you arrive at the hospital.
Donor livers are located through UNOS. Donors give their permission for organ donation before death or the donor’s family may give consent for organ donation at the time of death. An organ recipient and donor must have compatible blood types and similar body sizes.
At the time of death, the donor’s liver is removed, cooled, and stored in a special solution. Immediately after the donor’s liver is removed, it is transported to the recipient’s transplant center, where the transplant takes place as soon as possible.
Many people who are awaiting transplantation have mixed feelings because they are aware that someone must die before an organ becomes available. It helps to know that many donor families feel a sense of peace knowing that some good has come from a loved one’s death.
Locating a suitable donor for organ transplantation takes time. It is impossible to predict how long a wait there will be before a liver becomes available. Even when a donor is located, the surgery might not take place if there is a problem with the donor liver.