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Organ distribution

Lung policy

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Making allocation more fair and flexible

Making lung distribution fair and equitable

In its continued drive toward increasing equity, the donation and transplant community has developed a more fair and flexible lung allocation system. On March 9, 2023, new policies replaced the previous lung allocation system.

Lungs are the first organ type to be allocated under this new framework, called continuous distribution. In continuous distribution of lungs, candidates will receive a composite allocation score, which means no single factor will determine a lung patient’s priority. Watch explanatory videos

Lung and heart news

Lung CAS summary data updated

Information for lung transplant programs on the distribution of scores for all active registrations waiting for lung transplants in the U.S.

Offer Filters now available for lung allocation

Offer Filters adds data-driven, multi-criteria filters to organ offers at a program level so lung transplant programs can filter offers they will not accept and organ procurement organizations (OPOs) can find an accepting candidate more quickly.

Watch Dr. Budev, the Lung Committee chair, speak more on the new policy and how it was developed.

How are patients benefiting?

Since implementation*,

  • There has been a 26.1% decrease in candidates removed from the waiting list due to death or too sick to transplant
  • No negative impact on lung utilization
  • The most medically urgent patients have the shortest wait times to get transplanted compared to the rest of the candidates on the waiting list

*Source: Six-month lung continuous distribution monitoring report (Reporting period 9/6/22 to 9/8/23)

How did the community develop this policy?

The community was able to participate in the development of the policy through several public comment periods and online interactive values exercises. The methodology behind the exercises was a new way to collect community input early in the process.

Patients benefit from a more efficient system that gets the right organ to the right patient, at the right time.

The Board of Directors considered the community’s feedback and unanimously approved the policy in December 2021.

Learn more about the steps the Lung Committee followed to build the framework.

What happened in public comment? See what the community had to say. View comments

Essential reading and resources

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