October 19, 2012 6:56 pm
The way that donated kidneys are allocated to patients needing transplants might be changed next year so that the fittest organs would be given to those likely to live the longest with the donated organ, announced today from the United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS).
September 25, 2012 8:38 pm
A nurse who accidentally disposed of a living donor’s kidney during a transplant said she didn’t realize it was in chilled, protective slush that she removed from an operating room, took down a hall to a dirty utility room and “flushed down a hopper,” according to a report released by health officials on Monday. The nurse said she had been on a break when a surgeon told everyone the kidney had been put in the sterile, semi-frozen solution. That detail was in a review by the state for the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and obtained by The Associated Press through a records request. The transplant was Aug. 10 at the University of Toledo Medical Center.
September 21, 2012 8:12 pm
EDINA, Minn. — Just down the hallway, in Room 356, Curtis Kelly’s body lay covered to the chest by a white blanket, his torso rising and falling with the help of a ventilator. A neurologist at Fairview Southdale Hospital had declared him brain-dead nearly six hours earlier. Mr. Kelly’s far-flung family — a son, three siblings, a sister-in-law, his girlfriend and the daughter of a former girlfriend — had gathered in a narrow conference room in the intensive care unit so that John P. LeMay could ask permission to recover his tissue and organs.
September 13, 2012 1:34 pm
The demand for organs is great. As of Wednesday morning, 115,337 people were waiting to become organ recipients, according to the United Network for Organ Sharing, the private, nonprofit organization that manages the nation’s organ transplant system. “If anybody wants to help save a life, they should go ahead and join the registry,” Jones said. “It takes about five minutes” online or you can do it when you renew or update your driver’s license.
September 5, 2012 7:57 pm
A friend of mine, a transplant surgeon, was emotionally recounting a recent experience. A young woman with organ failure desperately needed a transplant, but none was available, and she was sinking rapidly. She, her family, and the medical team expected that she would be dead before the morning, and she had already said her goodbyes. The team was in despair, knowing that they could have saved her if only the means had been available. Then, suddenly, news came that a donor had been found. Everyone rushed into action, and by the next day joy was unconfined. That story had a happy ending, but its purpose was to emphasize the thousands of similar stories that end in tragedy. Innumerable people experience firsthand the misery of failing organs, and their doctors suffer the intense distress of knowing they have the skills to save them but not the organs themselves.
August 26, 2012 5:49 pm
TOLEDO, Ohio (AP) – A nurse accidentally disposed of a kidney from a living donor this month at an Ohio hospital, and doctors tried unsuccessfully for at least two hours to resuscitate the organ in what medical experts describe as a rare accident, health officials said. “Human error rendered the kidney unusable,” University of Toledo Medical Center spokesman Toby Klinger said Saturday, but he declined to give more details, citing the hospital’s investigation into what happened and its respect for the privacy of the patients involved.
August 15, 2012 1:35 pm
Dr. David Cronin, an associate professor of transplant surgery at the Medical College of Wisconsin, told ABCNews.com he does not know the case, but organ transplant denial tends to be easier for people to accept because of an anatomic problem, such as calcified blood vessels that would prevent the successful implantation of a new kidney.
August 8, 2012 3:31 pm
Despite the great demand, very few Americans donate their organs when they die. But the reason for that may not be what you’d think — it’s your relatives. That’s what David Shaw, honorary lecturer at the University of Aberdeen in Scotland, thinks the real problem is. In an article published Tuesday in the British Medical Journal, he writes that one of the biggest reasons more people don’t wind up donating is veto by their family.
August 8, 2012 3:26 pm
Jeffrey Kahn, Professor of Bioethics and Public Policy at Johns Hopkins University, concurred that each transplant facility creates its own policies. Dr. Kahn is also the Deputy Director for Policy and Administration at the Johns Hopkins Berman Institute of Bioethics. “There are general rules and guidelines, but the individual transplant centers make a judgement in every individual case about whether or not the patient is an appropriate transplant recipient. The United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS) has guidelines that transplant centers must follow.” Dr. Kahn said that UNOS’ rules address things like regionality (organs generally go to nearby recipients) and prioritization of patients.
August 7, 2012 9:39 pm
The New York Times ran a somber little piece yesterday about how organ-transplant centers are struggling as potential donors are being turned away because of their weight. Over half of these centers have rules requiring donors to have BMI scores under 35, and 10 percent are even stricter, saying they have to be under 30. The result is a fair number of potential donors being turned away from the programs—this, at a time when organ donation is seriously suffering.