Multiple listing with the UW Health transplant center

The UW Health Transplant Center is one of the world's foremost organ transplant programs. UW Health physicians are recognized experts in their field, providing care to patients in our heart, lung, kidney, liver, pancreas, intestine, islet cell and pediatric transplant centers.

It is important for patients to understand their options regarding multiple listing for transplant, and the benefits of being listed at the UW Health Transplant Center.

What is multiple listing?

Multiple listing involves registering on the waitlist at two or more transplant centers. The Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network (OPTN) and the United Network of Organ Sharing (UNOS) allow for multiple listings. Transplant programs have the option of refusing to list a patient for transplant who is already listed with another center. However, UW Health encourages patients to multiple list in different organ donation service areas to increase their chances of receiving an organ offer.

Why should a patient consider multiple listing?

Multiple listing may decrease a patient's waiting time for a transplant. Many factors affect how long a patient might wait for a transplant, including organ availability, medical urgency and having a "highly sensitized" immune system. (Highly sensitized patients are patients who have a higher likelihood of rejecting a transplanted organ and will match well with only a limited number of donated organs.)

What are the benefits of multiple listing?

Waiting time is the main determining factor for patients waiting for abdominal organs such as kidney and pancreas. Some studies suggest multiple listing can shorten the waiting time of kidney transplant patients by several months. For kidney patients, getting transplanted before the patient requires dialysis greatly improves the transplant outcome. While the heart, liver and lung organs are allocated based upon medical urgency and expected outcomes, the length of time a recipient is on the waiting list is also a determining factor in situations where two patients have identical rankings.

How does a patient list at multiple centers?

A patient should contact the transplant center(s) at which he/ she would like to be listed. Each center will determine if they will accept the patient to their waiting list. Some centers may not accept multiple-listed patients, and some may have special requirements for multiple-listed candidates. You should ask the transplant team how they handle multiple-listing requests.

The patient will have to complete an evaluation at each transplant center and agree to meet any conditions set by that center. It is a good idea for the patient to check with the insurance provider to see if they will reimburse the cost of additional evaluations. The patient should also consider other costs, such as travel and lodging. Patients may be listed at as many centers as they wish and the transplant centers do not have to be within the same geographic region where the patient lives. If a patient lists at multiple centers, the waiting time will start from the date each center adds the patient to their waitlist.

The longest amount of time the patient waited at any center is called primary waiting time. It may be possible to transfer primary waiting time to another center, but patients are not allowed to add or split total waiting time among multiple centers. Any request to switch waiting time must be approved by the transplant center(s) involved. Patients probably would not benefit from listing at multiple transplant centers within the same organ donor service or local allocation area. This is because waiting-time priority is first calculated among candidates at all hospitals within the local allocation area, not for each individual hospital. Patients who wish to be listed at more than one center typically list within two separate allocation areas.

What is a waiting-time transfer?

A waiting time transfer involves ending a patient's listing at one transplant center and transferring it to another center. Primary waiting time can be transferred if the patient coordinates this decision with both transplant centers.

What are the benefits of listing with the UW Health Transplant Center?

Patients listed with the UW Health Transplant Center tend to experience shorter than average wait times due to the exceptional efforts and high performance of UW Organ and Tissue Donation, which serves the UW Health Transplant Center.

The UW Health Transplant Center has wait times that are among the shortest in the nation. These wait times, in addition to our rich history of patient success, make the UW Health Transplant Center an excellent option for any patient, including those who are pursuing their option to be listed at multiple centers.