What are the criteria for lung donors?

Ideal donor criteria for lung donors vary by hospital, but the criteria generally consist of brain death, age less than 45 to 50 years, minimal smoking history and no evidence of pneumonia or trauma. Donor organs that do not meet all of the ideal donor criteria are sometimes accepted, but not always. While the use of extended criteria donor lungs varies from program to program, most surgeons should be willing to accept non-ideal donors, especially those who are older but otherwise good candidates.  
The vast majority of potential donors do not meet the relatively strict donor criteria. As a result, doctors need to continue exploring options that would expand the donor pool and more aggressively utilize extended criteria donors. Much like the general population, the donor pool has continued to grow older.

Continue Learning about Lung Transplant

Who is a candidate for a lung transplantation?
Lyall A. Gorenstein, MDLyall A. Gorenstein, MD
Candidates for lung transplantation are severely impaired in their daily activities. They are wi...
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Who is part of a lung transplant team?
Lyall A. Gorenstein, MDLyall A. Gorenstein, MD
Your transplant team will include attending surgeons and full-time cardiac anesthesiologists, who jo...
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How do living donor lung transplantations work?
National Kidney FoundationNational Kidney Foundation
Living donor lung transplantation involves two adults giving the right and left lower lobes from eac...
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How can lungs from donors who were heavy smokers benefit recipients?
The Society of Thoracic SurgeonsThe Society of Thoracic Surgeons
Research shows that transplanting lungs from donors with a history of heavy smoking does not appear ...
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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.