Lung transplantation in childhood is a highly specialized clinical practice confined to a few centers around the world. Organ availability remains an important limiting factor in extending the application of this procedure to more infants, children and adolescents. The lungs are the organ most vulnerable to injury, infection and dysfunction among transplantable organs in the brain dead deceased donor. In this manuscript, we review the pathophysiology of the most common and important disease states that affect the lungs in potential donors. Furthermore, we herein provide recommendations for optimal management of the pediatric organ donor with an emphasis on strategies to improve the opportunity for the lungs to be placed in candidates on the transplant list.