Heart and lung

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NHS Blood and Transplant works closely with doctors, nurses and others to monitor the organ donation and transplantation process and ensure that it is as safe as possible. However, as with any medical procedure, there are always risks.

Our Advisory Groups meet regularly to review organ donation and transplant activity and make recommendations on where improvements could be made. To view the minutes and papers please visit the Cardiothoracic Advisory Group.

To make best use of the information provided, we recommend that you seek advice from your doctor or nurse, or from your local patient support group.


Licensed UK cardiothoracic transplant units

All hospital transplant units must be licensed by the Human Tissue Authority. Patients are normally referred to their nearest transplant unit, but they may opt to go elsewhere.


Selection Policies – how do patients get onto the National Transplant waiting list?

The following policies outline how patients are selected for cardiothoracic transplantation and can be found on our Policies and guidance page:


Allocation policy – how are donated Cardiothoracic organs allocated?

Cardiothoracic organs from deceased donors in the UK are allocated according to a complex process to ensure equity and fairness.

The following policies can be found on our Policies and guidance page: 


Waiting times – how long will a person wait for a Cardiothoracic transplant?

There are many factors that determine how long a listed patient may wait for a heart transplant, such as blood group, tissue type and the degree of sensitisation. This leads to a variation between different centres.

You can find the waiting times for each centre in this report:


Outcomes - what is the outcome after Cardiothoracic transplantation?

There are many factors that will affect how long transplanted cardiothoracic organs will last and how long people will live after transplantation.

We publish outcomes from listing and outcomes from transplantation by centre within the annual report for cardiothoracic transplantation.

Please be careful in using this information which applies to the ‘average’ person and not to you. Again, we suggest you discuss this with your doctors.

Further data that may be of interest to the potential transplant candidate: