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System notice: VCA distribution to be based on fixed distance circle of 500 nautical miles

System notice: VCA distribution to be based on fixed distance circle of 500 nautical miles


  • VCA transplant program directors, program administrators, data coordinators, clinical coordinators, compliance/regulatory affairs and clinical support staff
  • OPO executive directors and procurement directors/managers
  • Please share this notice with anyone in your organization who would benefit from this information.

Effective date of change: June 18, 2020


Effective Thursday, June 18, 2020, vascular composite allograft offers will first be made to compatible transplant candidates listed at VCA programs within a radius of 500 nautical miles (NM) of the donor. This replaces the previous distribution unit, which had been the OPTN region of the donor hospital.

This change aligns with the directive from the December 2018 OPTN Board meeting to replace donation service areas (DSA) and regions in allocation policies with a rationally determined substitute to be consistently applied and aligns with the OPTN Final Rule. For additional background and detail, please refer to the policy notice on the OPTN website.

What you need to do

For OPOs

OPOs will see a new field for “Donor Hospital” on their VCA OPO instructions sheet.  OPOs will need to select the donor hospital in order to begin offering VCAs. Within each of the two VCA allocation classifications, OPOs will see distance in NM from the donor hospital displayed in place of region. Potential VCA candidates within 500 NM of the donor hospital will be displayed first, followed by potential VCA candidates listed at centers beyond 500 NM of the donor hospital.

For transplant programs

If the program will not accept a donor beyond a specific NM distance for a VCA candidate, the program is advised to include that within the ‘Donor Exclusionary Criteria’ for the candidate.

Resource Information

A new instructional offering, SYS103-D, VCA Circle-Based Allocation, is available in UNOS Connect. This offering is a PDF file.

If you are a UNetSM user, log in to UNet, click Resources and then UNOS Connect. If you do not have a UNet account, visit UNOS Connect to login (see How to Login for help).

More information

Our IT Customer Service Desk is available 8 am – 7 pm EST. Contact [email protected] or 800-978-4334.

If you have any additional questions, please contact [email protected].

The Organ Center is available around the clock and can be reached at 800-292-9537.

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