Matching organs. Saving lives.

How organs are matched

UNOS saves lives through organ transplantation, matching, and allocation. Understand the many factors considered when prioritizing patients for an organ transplant.

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Facts about organ donation

Organ donation has been around for decades but there are still a number of public misconceptions. Learn the facts to better understand organ, eye, and tissue donation.

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Information on living donation

Living donation from a family member, loved one, or even a stranger can be the fastest life-saving option for many who face a long wait for an organ transplant.

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Matching organs. Saving lives.

Our mission is to advance organ availability and transplantation to support patients through education, technology and policy development.

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How organ matching works

Understand the basic path to donation

When a patient is “added to the list,” a transplant hospital adds a patient’s medical information into UNOS’ computer system. When a deceased organ donor is identified, UNOS’ computer system generates a ranked list of transplant candidates, or “matches”, based on blood type, tissue type, medical urgency, waiting time, expected benefit, geography and other medical criteria.

Learn more about how organ matching works


  • You can be a donor at any age.
  • Celebrity or financial status are not factors in getting a transplant.
  • Donation is possible with many medical conditions.
  • All major religions approve of organ and tissue donation.
  • A national computer system and strict standards are in place to ensure ethical and fair distribution of organs.
  • A healthy person can become a living donor by donating a kidney, or a part of the liver, lung, intestine, blood or bone marrow.
  • Learn more organ donation facts.


UNOS celebrates 34th anniversary founding

United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS) was founded March 21, 1984, by the leadership of the South-Eastern Organ Procurement Foundation (SEOPF). UNOS was intended to become the nation’s organ transplant network, an idea that was still in development as Congress worked...

OPTN/UNOS Board members named

Members of the national organ donation and transplantation community have elected 25 members to the OPTN/UNOS board of directors, including a new president, vice-president/president-elect, vice president for patient and donor affairs and secretary.

Upcoming Events

Wed 23
Thu 24
Thu 31

OPTN/UNOS Pancreas Committee Meeting

May 31 @ 4:00 pm - 6:00 pm
Jun 02
Jun 05
Jun 11
Jun 13

OPTN/UNOS Living Donor Committee

June 13 @ 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm
Jun 13