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How the Transplant System Works: Matching Donors and Recipients
The transplant center runs a number of tests and considers the patient's mental and physical health, as well as his or her social support system. If the center decides to accept this person as a transplant candidate, they will add his or her medical profile to the national patient waiting list for organ transplant. The candidate is not placed on a ranked list at that time. Rather, his or her information is kept in a constantly updated, computerized database. When a deceased organ donor is identified, a transplant coordinator from an organ procurement organization accesses the UNOS computer. Each patient in the database is matched by the computer against the donor characteristics. The computer then generates a ranked list of candidates for each available organ in ranked order according to OPTN organ allocation policies.

KEY THINGS YOU CAN DO to support kidney health:
Take your medications as directed. Every time.
Keep track of you blood pressure and cholesterol level.
Work to keep them in the target range set by your doctor.
Work with your dietician to choose a healthy diet:
Limit the amount of SALT you eat:
  • Flavor meals with lemon juice, fresh herbs and spices instead of salt
  • Use fresh foods and ingredients instead of processed or prepared foods
  • Choose fresh or frozen fruits and vegetables instead of canned
  • Stay away from fast food, and salty snacks like pretzels and chips
  • Learn to read food labels, so you can choose foods with less sodium
Limit fat in your diet:
  • Choose lean meats and fish
  • Trim away skin and fat from meats before cooking
  • Bake or broil foods instead of frying them
  • Choose low fat foods
  • Avoid sodas and sugary drinks
If your kidneys are damaged, your dietician may tell you to choose foods
that are lower in phosphorus and potassium.
Maintain a healthy weight.  Extra weight makes kidneys work harder. Losing weight can help them last longer.
Stop smoking
Using tobacco makes kidney damage worse.
Get regular exercise
Physical activity is great for blood pressure and cholesterol levels.
Encourage friends and family to GET SCREENED for kidney problems