The process of lung transplantation starts with the evaluation for the procedure. At this moment there are more people who need new lungs than there are available donor lungs. Therefore, when donor lungs become available, they are offered first to the people with the most urgent need for them.
Need is represented by a number called the Lung Allocation Score (LAS). The LAS is a number, ranging from 0 to 100. It is the result of a calculation that takes into account a person’s age, body mass index (BMI) and certain medical test results. A higher LAS represents a more urgent need for a transplant.”
Luis was evaluated by the MGH Lung Transplant Team that included a transplant surgeon, a transplant pulmonologist, transplant nurses, a social worker, a psychiatrist or psychologist, a dietitian, a chaplain, and an anesthesiologist. During the process, the team requests interviews, medical history, physical exam and diagnostic tests, while it performs psychological and social evaluation, blood tests, diagnostic tests and other preparations like asking the patients to stop smoking.
Once Luis is listed, he needs to stay closer to the hospital and await for the call that an organ is available for him. It could be a matter of days, weeks, months or years.