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Actions to strengthen the U.S. organ donation and transplant system

Transportation: Reduce risk of delay, damage or loss in organ transport


Addressing concerns about organ tracking and transportation requires a system‐wide, multi‐pronged approach. UNOS has taken action as a private entity in developing and launching its own organ tracking solution, currently in use by 16 OPOs.1 However, both the federal government and the OPTN must require, develop and enact a solution for national, system‐wide tracking and efficient air transit.

In July 2023, the U.S. House and Senate transportation committees advanced widely endorsed provisions in the 2023 Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) reauthorization bill that would improve how donor organs are transported by the nation’s commercial aviation system. UNOS will continue to work with Congress and the administration to ensure an organ transportation provision is enacted into law and implemented.2

UNOS will undertake/propose the following action

Advocate for changes in the next OPTN contract that require the OPTN to:


Mandate the use of physical trackers for unaccompanied deceased donor organs recovered for transplant.


Develop a centralized organ tracking system.


Publicly report on data related to tracking.


Review all cases in which an organ is lost.

UNOS published the Action Agenda on Jan. 30, 2023, to reflect the needs of the broader donation and transplant community. As we progress on the actions and recommendations outlined, we will post updates here accordingly.

“Everyone in the donation and transplant community wants to make sure that every donor organ gets safely to a patient in need. But our community alone can’t solve these transportation challenges.”

Read “When minutes matter: The issues at stake in organ transportation

Matthew Cooper, M.D.

Immediate past president of the OPTN board of directors

All stakeholders, including UNOS, share a common mission:

Get as many usable transplant organs as possible to patients who need them, fairly, equitably and efficiently.

All parts of the national system must be held accountable for making sure that this happens. The OPTN contractor must provide the highest level of service to patients and the greatest level of transparency to the public who has charged it with this lifesaving work.

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6. IT improvement

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