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There are two requirements to get on the waiting list for a heart transplant:

  1. Your heart must be so bad that the prognosis is that you only have one year to live.
  2. The rest of your body needs to be healthy enough to last for at least another 30 years

This sounds really crazy and it actually is!

As soon as you meet the first criterion, a screening will determine whether you meet the second. You will be turned completely inside out to see if there are other ailments that make you ineligible for a transplant.

When you consider that there are on average about 70 people on this waiting list, it becomes clear that these people must be very healthy!

This becomes even more remarkable when you consider that in the period 2007 to 2010 an average of 12,255 people per year died of 'other heart diseases'of which heart failure is the leading cause of death.

Does that mean that the 12,175 people who did not qualify for a transplant were so unhealthy?

In part, this will certainly be the case and by no means everyone who dies from heart disease could have been helped with a transplant. But the main reason the screening is so tough…. is the shortage of donors!

Find such annually 45 heart transplants place. Many people have died over the years while waiting for a donor heart.

Since the invention of the LVAD, significantly fewer people on the waiting list die. This is good news, but it does make the waiting list longer, which means that the waittime also gets longer!

Suppose that the LVAD becomes an alternative to transplantation, or that a group of people decides to postpone the transplant for as long as possible. The waiting list would then become shorter and this would open the way to broader screening so that more people could be eligible for transplantation.

So also at the call to fill in the donor codicill. Preferably with a YES, of course, but also with a No it is nice for the next of kin to know what your wish is.

You can make this step through the donor registry.