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Transplant patient outcomes after trauma better than expected
Date:6/10/2013

Baltimore, MD June 10, 2013 In the largest study of its kind, physicians from the Department of Surgery at the University of Maryland School of Medicine and the R Adams Cowley Shock Trauma Center at the University of Maryland Medical Center (UMMC) have determined that outcomes for traumatic injury in patients with organ transplants are not worse than for non-transplanted patients, despite common presumptions among physicians. The findings, published in the June 2013 issue of The Journal of Trauma and Acute Care Surgery, also show that transplanted organs are rarely injured in traumatic events.

"Trauma teams should be encouraged that patients with prior organ transplants don't do worse after injury, and that the transplanted organ (also known as a graft) is infrequently injured after trauma; however, our study did show that there may be an increased risk of graft rejection after trauma," says the study's lead author, Joseph R. Scalea, M.D., a surgeon at the University of Maryland Medical Center. "We recommend that patients be assessed by a transplant surgeon as soon as possible, and graft function should be closely followed by a transplant team during hospitalization and after discharge from the trauma center."

The study analyzed patients with prior organ transplants who were admitted to Shock Trauma from 2007-2011. Fifty patients with previous solid-organ transplants were admitted for traumatic injury during the period. The outcomes of these patients were compared with more than 13,000 non-transplanted patients admitted during the same period.

One patient was admitted with a direct injury to a transplanted organ; three others had questionable graft injuries which did not affect organ function.

In the months following trauma, a percentage of the transplant group went on to develop organ rejection. Long-term graft outcomes were followed at different institutions, but data for 41 transplant patients followed at the Uni
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Contact: Bill Seiler
bseiler@umm.edu
410-328-8919
University of Maryland Medical Center
Source:Eurekalert

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