​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​When You Are Called In​



Once your liver transplant evaluation is complete, you are placed on the liver transplant waiting list. When a liver becomes available, you will receive a call from a Transplant Coordinator. The call for a transplant may come at any time of the day or night.​

The transplant coordinator on-call will call you in this order:

  1. Home phone number
  2. Alternate phone numbers, such as a cell number

The transplant coordinator on-call will ask you a few questions:

  • How are you feeling?
  • Do you have any symptoms of a cold or fever?
  • Are you taking any antibiotics?
  • ​Have you had any new medications prescribed?

We expect you to arrive at the hospital as soon as possible after getting the call for transplant. Your estimated time of arrival will need to be discussed with the transplant coordinator. The transplant coordinator will tell you where to go once you arrive to the hospital. Do not eat or drink from this time on.

  • Time is critical when your liver becomes available. The transplant coordinator​ will call all your contact numbers repeatedly for 1 hour. Messages will be left where answering machines are available. If they cannot reach you, another organ recipient must be chosen.
  • If you are unable to reach the person who pages or calls you, contact the ​​​Transplant Inpatient Unit​ at 416 340 5163; ask to speak to the charge nurse.
  • You are responsible for arranging your own transportation to the hospital.
  • If you refuse to come in when called for transplant, you will immediately be placed on hold and we must contact your transplant coordinator​ to discuss your situation.

​What should I bring when I am called in?
  • Your health card (OHIP card). If you do not have an OHIP card, please bring another form of government-issued photo ID, such as a driver's license or passport.
  • Any other insurance cards. You will need the policy number of your extended health insurance, if you have any.
  • Your spouse/partner, a trusted friend or family member.
  • A list of your medications. (names, doses, frequency) or bring the medications with you in their original packages. ​
What if I am called in as a back-up?

In some cases, you may be called in as a back-up. This happens when there is a chance that the primary person will not receive the liver. Whenever possible, we will try to have you stay at home during this waiting period for the final decision. If tests show that the primary person on the list is not a good match, then you, as the back-up will be offered the liver.​

Is there a chance my transplant will be cancelled?

Yes. Your surgery can be cancelled for many reasons:

  • We may have found a problem with the donor liver at the last minute.
  • One of your tests may have an unusual result and the operation cannot safely proceed.
  • In some cases, there may be an issue in matching an organ to a recipient.
  • ​Occasionally, another person on the waiting list may require the organ more urgently than you do

You and your family may feel shock, disappointment, and sadness when this happens. All of these feelings are normal. You should call your transplant coordinator​ to talk about any concerns you have about a cancellation.

You are still on the transplant waiting list and now know what to expect the next time you are called in.​

What if I am too sick for transplant?

Sometimes, you can become too sick to undergo transplant surgery.

There are several possible reasons:

  • If you become bedridden
  • If you develop serious infections and do not respond to antibiotics
  • If you have a liver tumour and it becomes too big, or spreads outside of the liver

If you become too sick to have a transplant, we will work with your referring or family doctor to plan your care. If you need to remain in hospital, you will be admitted to the one closest to your home.

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