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Many patients who die while awaiting liver transplant have had donor organs declined
Date:11/5/2012

d from the waitlist before being transplanted had been offered at least one of these high-quality organs. This suggests that data from the UNOS/Organ Procurement Transplantation Network does not accurately or fully capture the true reason why these organs are refused. Understanding the real-time factors involved in these decisions is vital to improving the waitlist process for liver transplant candidates.

In a related editorial, Michael L. Volk, MD, MSc, and Carl L. Berg, MD, state that this study highlights the need to better inform patients about organ offers and to engage them in deciding whether to accept or decline such offers, rather than leaving this decision solely up to their physicians. Although it is assumed that most of these decisions are made with the best intent, it would be of interest to learn of patients' opinions about multiple organs being declined on their behalf.

Patients waiting for a liver transplant are prioritized by their risk of waitlist mortality, which is determined by their MELD score. Once a liver transplant becomes available, it is offered to the candidate who is first on the waitlist. Depending upon the quality of the donor liver relative to the perceived need of the candidate, this liver offer may be accepted for transplantation. However, the center to which the liver was offered can decline the organ, in which case, it will be offered to the candidate who is next on the waitlist, and similarly down the waitlist, until it is finally accepted for transplantation.


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Contact: Alissa J. Cruz
media@gastro.org
301-272-1603
American Gastroenterological Association
Source:Eurekalert

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