NPR's Scott Simon speaks to transplant surgeon Dr. Dorry Segev about why the current system of organ allocation can be a death sentence for some patients. Read/Listen to full story.
This post was originally published as a January 3, 2018 article in The Los Angeles Times.
Tethered to a breathing machine at a Manhattan hospital, 21-year-old Miriam Holman would die without a lung transplant. But her odds of finding a suitable organ were especially low in New York, where waiting times are among the longest in the country. Just across the Hudson River in New Jersey, patients in far better condition routinely receive lungs much more quickly. Pockets of the South and Midwest also have dramatically shorter waiting times.
This post was originally published as a December 22, 2017 article in The New York Times.
With Manhattan skyscrapers as a backdrop, Roscoe and Sharon Fawcett celebrated their 29th anniversary with a meal of steak, corn and baked potatoes. “She finally got a New York skyline wedding anniversary dinner,” said Mr. Fawcett, a firefighter in Stamford, Conn. “But I’d rather not have had to give it to her that way.” That’s because Ms. Fawcett, 53, has end-stage liver disease, and the celebration took place in a ninth-floor family lounge at Mount Sinai Hospital, though she was too sick to eat very much. Ms. Fawcett, a retired caterer, is one of 14,100 people in the United States waiting for a liver transplant. One in ten will die before getting an organ.
This post was originally published as a December 16, 2017 article in Modern Healthcare
The week before Thanksgiving, 21-year-old Miriam Holman breathed through an artificial machine in the Columbia University Medical Center intensive-care unit. Her disease—a rare form of pulmonary hypertension—is incurable and she is in danger of dying soon without a lung transplant. But she lives in New York, or, in organ allocation parlance, Region 9, which has fewer locally procured organs than most other regions, according to data from the United Network for Organ Sharing.
Inside Health Policy: Patient Advocates - New Liver Distribution Policy Doesn't Solve Inequity Issues
This post was originally published as a December 4, 2017 article on Inside Health Policy
The highly charged conversation around liver distribution -- namely, whether where you live should determine whether you get a transplant -- is heating up as the committee delegated with policy decisions on the issue meets this week to vote on a new proposal that patient advocates worry would keep sick people locked in an unfair system.
This post was originally published as a December 5, 2017 article on The Washington Post
After years of debate, the organization that oversees the allocation of livers for transplant took steps Monday to address a long-standing geographic disparity in supply of the scarce organs.The policy approved by the Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network will make more livers available in some places — including cities such as New York and Chicago — where the shortage is more severe than it is in regions such as the southeastern United States.
Stakeholders Oppose OPTN/UNOS Policy that Maintains Vast Disparities in Access to Lifesaving Transplants
The OPTN/UNOS Board of Directors has approved a proposal on liver distribution reform that fails to address the systematic inequity in the current system for organ distribution to patients on the waiting list. The proposal would not produce meaningful reduction in geographic disparity in access to transplants and did not undergo public comment.
Attorney General Eric Schneiderman is asking the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to reject a proposed change to how livers are distributed for transplant.
"Arbitrary geographical boundaries should not determine whether a patient lives or dies," Schneiderman wrote in a letter, released today, to acting HHS Secretary Eric Hargan.
The United Network for Organ Sharing, the nonprofit that oversees the country's region-based Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network, in July proposed a change that would prioritize directing a liver to a person within a 150-nautical mile radius of the donor hospital. The change is scheduled to be finalized next week.
Slight changes to the system for allocating deceased-donor kidneys could result in higher rates of organ procurement and lead to more kidney transplants across the country, according to new research co-authored by an Indiana University Kelley School of Business professor.
Stakeholders Pan OPTN for Last-Minute Revisions to Reform Proposal that Would Maintain Vast Disparities in Access to Lifesaving Transplants
The OPTN/UNOS Liver and Intestinal Organ Transplantation Committee recently voted to advance a proposal on liver distribution reform that deviates from a proposed set of policies released for public comment earlier this year. CODE has serious concerns about the revised proposal because it would not produce meaningful reduction in geographic disparity in access to transplants and did not undergo public comment. The OPTN/UNOS Board of Directors will consider the revised version at its meeting on December 4-5 in Atlanta