During its December 2015 meeting, the OPTN/UNOS Board of Directors (the Board) approved future changes to the OPTN bylaws that will require transplant hospitals performing or intending to perform kidney, liver, or heart transplants in patients less than 18 years old to apply for and maintain an approved pediatric component of the hospitals’ kidney, liver, or heart transplant programs. The Board also agreed that the approved bylaws would be implemented no sooner than three years from the proposal’s approval to give transplant hospitals extra time to staff their programs and train personnel, as well as to allow the OPTN time to complete system programming and facilitate the pediatric component application process.
Right now, transplant hospitals with OPTN-approved and active organ-specific transplant programs (e.g., kidney, liver, heart, etc.) can continue to register and transplant candidates of any age in both the pediatric and adult populations. This will continue to be the case until the initial pediatric component application process has been completed and OPTN members are formally notified that the pediatric training and experience bylaws have been implemented, which would occur no sooner than December 2018.
Transplant hospitals will receive details about the pediatric component application process and necessary actions and deadlines at a future date, once the OPTN is ready to distribute and process applications. In the meantime, if you have questions or need additional information, please contact your Regional Administrator at (804) 782-4800.