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
There’s a nationwide organ shortage, but how long patients wait for a transplant can depend on how much money they have. Lisa Waters was 25 years old when, one day in 1995, she couldn’t raise her right arm without pain in her shoulder. Blood tests revealed she had a rare autoimmune liver disease, primary biliary cirrhosis, that can cause liver failure but can be delayed or even forestalled with medication. For the next two decades, Lisa took a drug, Urso, thrice daily and remained in good health. She rose through the ranks at The Gap, eventually becoming a senior vice president, and later left the company to focus on raising her four children in New Jersey.
STAT: U.S. states are waging a civil war over donated livers. Will a new proposal finally resolve it?
Himanshu Patel ran a convenience store in Georgia until about a year ago, when his liver failure got so bad he had to quit. "I just couldn't stand up on my feet at all," says Patel, 39, of Waycross, Ga. "I just had to stop working." Now, he's waiting anxiously to learn if his doctors have found a liver for him so he can undergo a transplant.
His belly swollen, his energy flagging, 45-year-old Jorge Perez Remache waits in his Queens apartment for word that his turn has come to receive a lifesaving liver transplant. Though he has suffered from cirrhosis for 10 years, the chance of that happening is virtually zero.
A proposal to revamp the country's organ transplant system could help distribute livers equitably to candidates in dire need. The initiative by the United Network for Organ Sharing would not redraw existing donor sharing districts, as previously proposed.
The Organ Procurement and Transplant Network's Liver and Intestine Committee reviewed proposals this month to reduce the number of transplant regions for broader organ sharing, and the committee members added additional policies -- dubbed the “neighborhood” and “concentric circle” distribution scenarios -- to the list of those they are considering. At least one of the proposals will likely be posted online for written comments in late summer, according to Thorn Run Partners Managing Partner Billy Wynne.
Organ Transplant Stakeholders Applaud OPTN Progress on Lifesaving Reforms to Liver Distribution for Transplant
At yesterday’s public meeting of the HHS-designated Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network (OPTN) Liver and Intestine Committee, board members and key stakeholders considered a variety of reforms that would reduce severe geographic disparities in organ distribution.