What is the Lung Allocation Score System?
The lung allocation score (LAS) is a numerical value used by the United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS) to assign relative priority for distributing donated lungs for transplantation within the United States. The lung allocation score takes into account various measures of a patient’s health in order to direct donated organs towards the patients who would best benefit from a lung transplant. The LAS system replaces the older method within the United States of allocating donated lungs strictly on a first-come, first-served basis, according to blood type compatibility and distance from the donor hospital. The older method is still used for patients under the age of 12. The LAS system is still being evaluated and revised. The reason for this continuing analysis is the need to balance on one hand the desire to help those patients in direct need, versus the statistical likelihood of the patient to survive the procedure, as well as the post-operative risks of infection and transplant rejection.