Organ Donation

Organ Waiting List

The organ waiting list is part of a nationwide computerized network called the United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS). All transplant centers in the United States belong to UNOS, and UNOS is responsible for continuously updating the list in order to provide accurate transplantation and donation information to patients and transplant programs. The federal government supervises UNOS to ensure patients throughout the country receive healthy organs.

UI Health’s Transplantation Team is available 24/7 to respond to calls regarding a possible organ donor. When an organ becomes available, our team is prepared to quickly examine and pick up the organ. The patient is then called to come to the hospital for the procedure. The wait for deceased transplantation is based on priority for the sickest patients.

Living Donor Transplant Options

UI Health has a robust living donor program for kidney and liver transplants. Living donation offers the opportunity to control the timing of the donation best suited for the health of the donor and recipient. To learn more, watch our segment on WGN’s Spotlight Chicago or visit our living donation page.

Becoming an Organ Donor in Illinois

Every few moments, another person gets added to the waiting list for an organ donation. On any given day, there can be thousands of people on the waiting for a new organ. One person’s donation can save the lives of 25 others who are waiting for organ and tissue donation.

The state of Illinois’ Organ/Tissue Donor Registry makes legally binding a person’s wish to be an organ donor. To become an organ donor in the state of Illinois, please register at Life Goes On or call 1.800.210.2106.

Altruistic Organ Donation

On average, 18 people die each day while waiting for an organ. An altruistic (Good Samaritan) kidney donor means you are willing to donate one of your organs to a person currently waiting for transplantation. In altruistic donation, you do not necessarily know who that person is, but you know it will truly change their life. This is a very generous donation and an incredible gesture of selflessness.

UI Health can help facilitate this process and provide exceptional, state-of-the-art care. If you are interested in being an altruistic donor, please call 312.996.6771 to speak with our Transplantation Team.

Important Organ Donation Links