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Once you are accepted as a transplant candidate, Stanford will list you on the United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS) national computer system. Patients are listed by blood type, height, weight and urgency. The categories for urgency are:
1A - Patients are very sick and are in the hospital with intravenous monitoring equipment or mechanical devices helping to temporarily sustain heart function
1B - Patients may be in or out of the hospital and have IV medications or a mechanical device stabilizing heart function
Status 2 - Most patients are out of the hospital and stable
Status 7 - Patients temporarily inactive on the transplant list
The amount of time you wait for a donor will depend on your UNOS status, your blood type and size, and how long you have been waiting on the list. You may wait a few days or over a year. The donor's body must be close to your own height and weight. Your pre-transplant cardiologist will discuss the possible length of your wait with you.
You may wait at home or in the hospital, depending on whether you need IV medications and other devices to support your heart. Since hearts can be transplanted only within a short time of being taken from the donor, you may be asked to move temporarily near the hospital. You will need a cell phone so you can be contacted immediately if a donor organ becomes available while you are away from home.