Well I started this post last Tuesday and was writing it while the call for the dry run came in, so I'm now changing the intro but I'm going to leave the rest intact since it's even more relevant....looking back at it now is very interesting (but I guess not timely....lol)....I will add that 2 other CFers (Jess, Jerry) have had dry runs since mine, sorry guys....
The most frequent question I seem to be getting is when will the transplant happen. I sure wish I knew the answer to that, as do all my friends on the transplant list. For instance my one friend Piper had a dry run over the weekend. She got a call from her transplant center to come in because they had a matching set of lungs for her. Unfortunately after she was at the hospital for awhile she was informed that one of the lungs was not viable. CF patients unlike some other conditions requires a double lung transplant because of the bacteria we harbour in our lungs. If they only gave us one lung the existing bacteria from the CF infected lung would quickly attack the other due to the immunosuppressants needed post transplant. Short of it is, her transplant did not go ahead, but at least the one good lung was not wasted and went to save another's life. Hopefully the perfect lungs for her will be found soon. So keep in mind people when we post that we got called, it's not a done deal till the surgery starts.
So back to the topic.....When someone over the age of 12 is approved for transplant by a clinic (in the US), your data (derived in the evaluation process) is fed into the UNOS (national transplant database) system. When they input your data an LAS (lung allocation score) is calculated and is then used to demonstrate ones need as compared to others. The score can go from 0-100 with the highest score having the most need. My LAS happens to be 37.78 for those interested.
The score is derived from several pieces of data such as (list from Wikipedia):
-diagnosis of the patient (e.g. emphysema, cystic fibrosis, etc.);
-age of the patient;
-body mass index;
-presence or absence of diabetes mellitus;
-ability to function according to the NYHA scale;
-percentage of predicted forced vital capacity (FVC);
-systolic pressure of the pulmonary artery;
-mean pressure of the pulmonary artery (only required of sarcoidosis patients);
-pulmonary capillary wedge pressure (PCW pressure);
-flow rate of supplemental oxygen required at rest;
-distance walked in six minutes;
-need or lack of need for continuous mechanical ventilation;
-levels of creatinine in the blood.
Once they have the LAS score they use that coupled with your blood type compatibility and body size to list you for lungs.
Through the UNOS system organs (Lungs) are offered first locally, then regionally, then nationally using the LAS as the criteria of who gets them first. What I mean by that is:If an organ donor (host) is brain dead in a hospital, the organs are first offered to the hospitals in the local area, if there is no match locally then the organs are offered to hospitals in the region the host body is in, if no match still exists the organs are then offered nationally to other hospitals.
So in my case right now I am listed at University of Pennsylvania, so if an organ donor of AB blood type passes at Penn and they were my height I would be offered the lungs first since I'm the only one on the list there with those characteristics. If I was not a match they would then be offered to Temple Hospital second, since they are also local. If there is still no match for the lungs, they would then be offered to all of region 2 (De,DC,MD,NJ,PA,VA,) if still no match then they would be offered nationally to other regions.
Now the reason I want to be multi-listed at Columbia Presbyterian is because they are in region 9 (NY, VT) so by listing there I would have a much larger pool to pull from and I know there currently is no one of my blood type listed in the whole region. Good old AB blood, blessing and a curse.....