Heart and Lung


NHS Blood and Transplant works closely with doctors, nurses and others to monitor the organ donation and transplantation process and ensure that it is as safe as possible. However, as with any medical procedure, there are always risks.

Our Advisory Groups meet regularly to review organ donation and transplant activity and make recommendations on where improvements could be made. The minutes and papers presented at the Cardiothoracic Advisory Group are available here.

Copies of the guidance we provide regarding the responsibilities of the various clinicians in the retrieval and transplantation pathway are available here.

To make best use of the information provided, we recommend that you seek advice from your doctor or nurse, or seek help from one of the Cardiothoracic Patient Support Groups. Please click here.

Additional information for patients is available from the following websites:

List of useful links for Lung: Licensed UK Cardiothoracic transplant units

All hospital transplant units must be licensed by the Human Tissue Authority. Patients are normally referred to their nearest transplant unit, but they may opt to go elsewhere.

This list provides the names of all licensed UK transplant units.

Selection Policies – how do patients get onto the National Transplant waiting list?

These policies outline how patients are selected for cardiothoracic transplantation. There is a general overall policy on patient selection for a solid organ transplant from a deceased donor which is available here.

The policies for how patients are selected for a Cardiothoracic transplant are available here Heart and Lung.

Allocation policy – how are donated Cardiothoracic organs allocated?

Cardiothoracic organs from deceased donors in the UK are allocated according to a complex process, which is described here Heart and Lung.

Waiting times – how long will a person wait for a Cardiothoracic transplant?

There are many factors that determine how long a listed patient may wait for a heart transplant, such as blood group, tissue type and the degree of sensitisation. This leads to a variation between different centres.

You can find the waiting times for each centre here.

Outcomes - what is the outcome after Cardiothoracic transplantation?

There are many factors that will affect how long transplanted cardiothoracic organs will last and how long people will live after transplantation. We publish the outcomes from listing and from transplantation by centre but please be careful in using this information which applies to the ‘average’ person and not to you. Again, we suggest you discuss this with your doctors.

Further data that may be of interest to the potential transplant candidate: Annual activity report and National Organ Retrieval Service policies and reports.

Next section: Kidney