Evaluation Process

Evaluation of a child for transplant is an important and often expensive proposition. We understand there is a great sense of urgency on the part of families to arrange evaluations quickly, though the process can often require extensive preparation. Our pediatric lung transplant coordinators will work with you and your family to lead your child through the evaluation process as smoothly as possible. Before the evaluation begins, our team will work closely with you to collect key information including:

  • A comprehensive summary of your child's clinical records including representative radiographic studies and recent hospital discharges
  • A family evaluation report from a social worker
  • Insurance information (Insurance approval is mandatory prior to arranging an evaluation.)

Consultation and Testing

The consultation requires 3 to 4 days of evaluation and testing, which may be inpatient or outpatient based on your child’s medical condition. Generally, the evaluation consists of the following tests:

  • Blood tests to evaluate organ function and experience with prior infection or immunization
  • Pulmonary Function Testing (PFTs)
  • Chest x-ray
  • CT scans and other diagnostic imaging (unless recently performed elsewhere)

You will also conduct medical consultations with:

  • Transplant surgeon
  • Transplant nurse
  • Transplant nurse practitioner
  • Pulmonologist
  • Nutritionist
  • Social worker
  • Child life specialist
  • Psychologist
  • Physical therapist
  • Other medical specialists on case by case basis, including an immunologist, gastroenterologist or cardiologist

Waiting Process

Once your child has been approved for lung transplantation, the waiting period can take days, weeks or even years. If you and your family live more than 3 hours by car from Houston, we will ask you to relocate to the Houston area until transplant, where you will be given a beeper. We will require that you have a working telephone so our transplant coordinator is able to reach you at any time when donor lungs become available, and you must be able to reach the hospital within 2 hours of that time.