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Implementation notice: Pediatric transplant hospital bylaws now in effect

Implementation notice: Pediatric transplant hospital bylaws now in effect

Implementation date  

Dec. 8, 2020


Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network bylaws are now in effect that require transplant candidates younger than age 18, needing one or more organ types listed below, to be registered at transplant programs that have been approved to have a pediatric component.

This applies to the following organ types:

  • Kidney
  • Liver
  • Pancreas
  • Heart
  • Lung

This action followed the Dec. 7 meeting of the OPTN Board of Directors, at which the board granted final approval to the 268 pediatric transplant program components who met the bylaw requirements as outlined in the policy notice. The searchable member directory on the OPTN website displays programs with a pediatric component.

On and after Dec. 8, 2020, a heart or liver transplant program without an approved pediatric component but wishing to register a candidate less than 18 years old must follow an emergency exception request to UNOS as outlined in this policy notice.

What you need to do

UNOS has previously notified all transplant programs recommended for approval for a pediatric transplant component. UNOS is also confirming with these programs the outcome of the Dec. 7 vote for final approval.

If your program currently has pediatric candidates on the waiting list and you do not have an approved pediatric component as of Dec. 8, you need to arrange for a transition of their care to a transplant program with an approved pediatric component. Appendix K.5, Transition Plan during Long-term Inactivity, Termination, or Withdrawal, in the OPTN bylaws addresses the process to follow.

If your liver or heart transplant program does not have an approved pediatric component, you may register a highly medically urgent candidate less than 18 years old if he or she meets the criteria for an emergency exception as specified in this policy notice. Approval of any exception is limited to the individual case and does not mean that your program has been approved for a pediatric component.

Education and resources

An updated implementation toolkit is available on the OPTN website with resources and education about the new requirements and the exception request process.


If you have questions relating to implementation, contact UNOS Customer Service at 800-978-4334.

For policy-related questions, send an e-mail to [email protected].

If you have questions about the bylaws or are interested in applying for a pediatric component for your transplant program, please contact UNOS Membership at [email protected] or by calling 833-577-9469.

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