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Waiting for a Heart While on the Heart Transplant List at Tampa General Hospital

You will be added to the United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS) heart transplant list once you have been approved as a transplant candidate by Tampa General Hospital and have given our transplant coordinator permission to do so. When adding your name to this heart transplant list database, your coordinator will provide your blood type, body size, and contact information, and you will be assigned one of the following transplant statuses:

  • Status 1A, which is assigned to critically ill patients who are in an intensive care unit, are taking several IV medications or are using multiple heart pumps to stay alive.
  • Status 1B, which is assigned to patients who require a left ventricular assist device (LVAD), IV medications, or interventions beyond oral medications to control their condition. This status accounts for the majority of patients on our heart transplant list as well as those registered nationally, according to the latest heart transplant statistics released by the Scientific Registry of Transplant Recipients.
  • Status 2, which is assigned to patients who are able to control their heart failure through oral medications and can wait on the heart transplant list at home.
  • Status 7, which is assigned to patients whose transplant requests need to be placed on a temporary hold while they travel away from home or recover from an active infection. This hold allows patients to retain their seniority on the waiting list without accruing additional time.

cardiothoracic referral form button

All information placed into the national computerized UNOS database will be used to help identify potentially suitable organs when they become available. When a donor heart becomes available, it will be compared to the information listed above to determine if it’s a match for you. Size will also come into consideration, because your donor’s organ will need to fit into your body similarly to your original heart. Once a match is found, we will call your home and cell phone to let you know it’s time to come to TGH for your transplant.

While you’re actively waiting on our heart transplant list, you’ll need to comply with the following personal care requirements (click here for more information):

  • See your transplant doctor, primary cardiologist, and family physician regularly
  • Maintain your physical health
  • Eat the right foods and make certain to maintain a healthy weight as outlined by your doctors
  • Maintain a nicotine- and chemical-free lifestyle
  • Call us immediately if your insurance changes

After your transplant, if you wish to write a letter to your donor’s family, your transplant donor coordinator will forward it through LifeLink Foundation, Inc., our organ procurement organization. Please do not include your last name or other personal details; similarly, you will not receive personal details about your donor.

Individuals who are on Tampa General Hospital’s heart transplant list should be sure to view our frequently asked questions, which can be found by clicking here.

Contact Tampa General Hospital for more information about our heart transplant program. Call 1-800-505-7769 (press 1 for the heart transplant program and ask for the referral coordinator), or call the coordinator directly at (813) 844-4088.

Overall, Tampa General Hospital's Transplant Institute has been ranked #5 in the country by organ transplant volume. This makes our center one of the busiest in the nation.