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Lung Transplant Qualifications for Tampa General Hospital's Lung Transplant Program

Group of physicians looking at documentsA set of lung transplant qualifications is used to select potential candidates for Tampa General Hospital’s Lung Transplant Program. First, to be considered for acceptance into the program, a patient must be referred by his or her physician or pulmonologist, who should submit a completed lung transplant referral form. Our team of medical professionals can use this information to assess if an in-depth evaluation of a patient is warranted at the time. The information from the referral form, the secondary evaluation, and other factors will then be considered by our Medical Review Board (MRB), a group of health care professionals and social workers who will determine if a patient should be on the waiting list for a lung transplant. During its review, the MRB will determine if a potential candidate meets the following lung transplant qualifications:

  • Being younger than 70 years old
  • Having a life expectancy of less than two years
  • Being within 20 percent of ideal body weight
  • Having no history of alcohol or drug abuse
  • Refraining from smoking for at least six months
  • Being free of cancer for at least five years
  • Having no significant infection or systemic disease

The preceding are general qualifications that lung transplant patients should meet, but there are also separate sets of criteria that are specific to each potential lung transplant condition, such as COPD, primary pulmonary hypertension, sarcoidosis, and others. In addition to these qualifications, there are lung transplant contraindications that can preclude a patient from being considered as a lung transplant candidate. Absolute contraindications include being HIV positive, having liver cirrhosis or an active hepatitis B infection, having malignant cancer within the last five years, or having a bone density T-score lower than 3.0. Issues that may or may not disqualify a patient, depending on the degree of illness, are known as relative contraindications. Some examples include:

  • Symptomatic osteoporosis
  • Severe thoracic musculoskeletal disease
  • Invasive mechanical ventilation
  • A history of noncompliance with medical advice
  • Inability to comply with a complex medical regimen
  • Presence of pan-resistant organisms in the body

Every patient referred to Tampa General Hospital’s Lung Transplant Program will be evaluated individually based on these lung transplant requirements, qualifications, and contraindications, as well as on other lung transplant criteria. To learn more about the criteria that our program uses and how to become a patient in our lung transplant program, please call 1-800-505-7769 (press 3 for the lung transplant program, and ask for the referral coordinator), or call the referral coordinator directly at (813) 844-4088. Access our lung transplant referral form here.