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Information on Disaster Relief and Assistance for OPTN Member Institutions

The national Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network (OPTN), administered by United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS), is dedicated to providing assistance to transplant institutions to maintain critical services for transplant patients and living donors in the event of a natural disaster.

Transplant institutions should have disaster recovery plans that address their individual facility's needs and circumstances. We encourage all institutions to consider their plans in light of available news and forecasts. The OPTN maintains some examples of protocols voluntarily shared by member institutions. Upon request, UNOS can provide these sample plans to members who wish to revise or update their plans; please contact your Regional Administrator.

The UNOS Organ Center, continuously staffed, is able to support essential activities of OPTN members faced with temporary disruption of donation or transplant services.

  • helping register new candidates or donors
  • verifying blood type information for candidates or donors
  • modifying candidate records (to include updating necessary lab values)
  • transferring waiting time for any candidates that require listing at an alternate transplant center
  • running organ-specific matches
  • assisting in organ placement
  • assisting in transportation of organs and tissue typing material

Member institutions may contact the Organ Center at any time to request assistance or help them plan to maintain crucial services. OPTN Policy 3.4.11 and its following subsections outline procedures to be followed in case of significant communication, transportation and/or operational disruptions.