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.

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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.