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Patient brochure & FAQs

Find information for patients and families to understand and navigate organ donation and transplantation below:

Questions and answers for transplant candidates about:

Patient questions and resources for new lung allocation policy handout

Patient handout with answers to frequently asked questions, questions to ask your transplant coordinator, and resources for further learning.
View patient handout in English

Ver el folleto del paciente en español

Lung CAS animated explainer video

Learn how the lung Composite Allocation Score (CAS) is calculated and used in lung allocation in this brief animated video.
Watch video

Patient webinar recording

A patient webinar was held in January 2023 to help patients and caregivers prepare for the upcoming changes to lung policy.
Find recording under the patient resources section

The lungs

Functions of the lung

The lungs are a pair of highly elastic and spongy organs in the chest. They are divided into lobes, with three on the right and two on the left.

They are the main organs involved in breathing. They take in air and provide a place for oxygen to enter the blood and for carbon dioxide to leave the blood.

Lung transplant procedures

Lung transplants may involve two lungs, a single lung, or a lobe of a lung. Transplants from deceased donors usually involve one or both whole lungs. In general, the most common diseases leading to a deceased donor lung transplant are:

  • Pulmonary fibrosis
  • Emphysema/COPD
  • Cystic fibrosis

Most lung lobe transplants, while rare, have been performed for patients with cystic fibrosis. The transplants can involve two living donors who each donate a lung lobe.

Reasons for lung transplants

Lung and heart-lung diagnosis categories Lung and heart-lung diagnoses
Congenital Disease
Eisenmenger's Syndrome: Arterial Septal Defect
Eisenmenger's Syndrome: Ventricular Septal Defect
Eisenmenger's Syndrome: Multiple Congenital Anomalies
Eisenmenger's Syndrome: Patent Ductus Arteriosus
Eisenmenger's Syndrome: Other Specify
Congenital: Other Specify
Cystic Fibrosis
Cystic Fibrosis
Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis
Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis
Primary Pulmonary Hypertension
Primary Pulmonary Hypertension
Alpha-1-Antitrypsin Deficiency
Alpha-1-Antitrypsin Deficiency
Retransplant/Graft Failure
Lung Retransplant/Graft Failure: Obliterative Bronchiolitis
Lung Retransplant/Graft Failure: Other Specify
Lung Retransplant/Graft Failure: Non-Specific
Lung Retransplant/Graft Failure: Acute Rejection
Lung Retransplant/Graft Failure: Primary Graft Failure
Lung Retransplant/Graft Failure: Restrictive
Lung Disease
Pulmonary Fibrosis
Obliterative Bronchiolitis (Non-Retransplant)
Pulmonary Vascular Disease
Occupational Lung Disease
Inhalation Burns/Trauma
Rheumatoid Disease