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A Review of Organ Transplantation: Heart, Lung, Kidney, Liver, and Simultaneous Liver-Kidney

Scheuher, Cynthia MBA, MS, RN

doi: 10.1097/CNQ.0000000000000115
Original Articles

Heart, lung, kidney, liver, and simultaneous liver-kidney transplants share many features. They all follow the same 7-step process, the same 3 immunosuppressant medications, and the same reason for organ transplantation. Organs are transplanted because of organ failure. The similarities end there. Each organ has its unique causes for failure. Each organ also has its own set of criteria that must be met prior to transplantation. Simultaneous liver-kidney transplant criteria vary per transplant center but are similar in nature. Both the criteria required and the 7-step process are described by the United Network of Organ Sharing, which is a private, nonprofit organization, under contract with the US Department of Health and Human Services. Its function is to increase the number of transplants, improve survival rates after transplantation, promote safe transplant practices, and endorse efficiency. The purpose of this article is to review the reasons transplant is needed, specifically heart, lung, kidney, liver, and simultaneous liver-kidney, and a brief overview of the transplant process including criteria used, contraindications, and medications prescribed.

Surgical Intensive Care Unit, University of Michigan Health System, Ann Arbor.

Correspondence: Cynthia Scheuher, MBA, MS, RN, Surgical Intensive Care Unit, University of Michigan Health System, 1500 E Medical Center Dr, UH 5713, SPC 5076, Ann Arbor, MI 48109 (

The author has no conflicts of interest or funding to disclose.

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