When organs are donated, a complex process begins. UNOS maintains a centralized computer network, UNetSM, which links all organ procurement organizations (OPOs) and transplant centers. Transplant professionals can access this computer network 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

UNet electronically links all transplant hospitals and OPOs in a secure, real-time environment using the Internet. Learn more >

The F.M. Kirby Foundation Organ Center

To support transplant centers, OPOs and histocompatibility laboratories throughout the United States, the Organ Center at UNOS is available 24 hours a day, every day of the year. The primary functions of the Organ Center are to:

  • assist in placing donated organs for transplantation
  • assist in gathering donor information and running the donor/recipient computer matching process
  • assist with transportation of organs and tissues for the purposes of transplantation
  • act as a resource to the transplant community regarding organ-sharing policies

Technology for Transplantation

Running the nation’s transplant network requires a complex computer system. UNet is the secure Internet-based transplant information database created by UNOS for the nation's organ transplant centers and OPOs to register patients for transplants, match donated organs to transplant candidates and manage the critical data of all patients.

In 2006, UNOS launched DonorNetSM, an integrated part of UNet, to increase the efficiency and accuracy of the organ placement process. DonorNet is a central electronic environment in which organ procurement coordinators send out offers of newly donated organs to transplant hospitals with compatible candidates. Prior to DonorNet's completion, the community relied upon faxes and numerous phone calls to exchange large amounts of clinical and biologic information to make matches and distribute donated organs. Because organ offers can now be made to multiple transplant centers simultaneously, organs can be matched and placed more efficiently.

Did you know?

Every day, the Organ Center handles at least 350 requests from transplant organizations for organ placement assistance, waiting list modifications, policy information and organ transportation assistance.

Matching organs

Learn more about how donor organs are matched with transplant candidates or view organ allocation policy >

Learn more about living donation

  • Visit the Transplant Living Web site for additional details and resources about living donation. Go >
  • Use the Member Directory to find a transplant program in your region. Go >
  • Build a data report to display centers that perform various types of living donation. Go >

The importance of time

The length of time donated organs and tissues can be kept outside the body vary:

Heart: 4-6 hours
Liver: 12-24 hours
Kidney: 48-72 hours
Heart-Lung: 4-6 hours
Lung: 4-6 hours