How the Lung Transplant Waiting List Works

We want to make sure you and your family have a good lung transplant outcome. That means that some people who are referred to us will not be eligible for a lung transplant for a variety of reasons.

Following your evaluation, it's possible the lung transplant team will talk to you about the reasons you may not get listed. If you are not listed at Nebraska Medicine, it doesn't mean that you will not be a candidate at another program.

Getting on the Waiting List for Lung Transplant

Our transplant team will consider all information from interviews, a patient’s medical history, physical examination and diagnostic tests. These steps will determine whether you are a candidate for lung transplantation. If you've been accepted by the program to have a lung transplant, you will be placed on the Organ Procurement and Transplant Network (OPTN) waiting list.

Wait Times for a Lung Transplant

  • Once you are placed on the waiting list, it could take a few days or longer before a match is made. When an organ comes available, we will call you immediately and make arrangements for your transplant.
  • Please realize people who are on the waiting list for a lung transplant are given a score based on how sick they are. The score uses information from the tests done during the evaluation. The scoring system is the same for everyone who is on the lung transplant list all over the country. This score makes sure that the sickest people get a lung transplant first. The amount of time a person has been waiting for a transplant is not a part of the score. Some people who are very sick may wait days or weeks while others may wait months or even years for a match. There is no way to know how long anyone will wait.
  • For more information about the lung score, UNOS has provided 'Questions and Answers for Transplant Patients about Lung Allocation.'

Being Dual-Listed for a Lung Transplant

Dual listing (listing at more than one lung transplant program) is an option that may be right for you. If you are interested in dual listing, you should have your lung doctor make a referral and we will obtain your records. Sometimes a person is a candidate at another program, but they are not a candidate at Nebraska Medicine for one reason or another. If that is the case, the doctors at Nebraska Medicine are available to co-manage your care with the lung transplant team where you are listed, both before and after your transplant.