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Monday, June 13, 2005

Can't Wait? Get An "OK" Organ Transplant

BOSTON -- Gloria Daise was stunned last year to learn that the wait for a transplant kidney averaged five to six years. But in April, a surgeon gave her another option: a shorter wait if she accepted a less-than-perfect organ.

Transplant centers in New England and Michigan, where kidney shortages are acute, have been drawing up lists of volunteer recipients willing to use kidneys that come from donors who are older or have risk factors. Brigham and Women's Hospital, where Daise was seeking her transplant, has about 260 people on a list seeking kidneys from ideal donors who are young and healthy.

Posted by Hello

Now, as part of a three-year study, the hospital has a list of 33 people willing to accept the "extended-criteria" kidneys from donor who were older than 60 when they died, or were over 50 and had risk factors that might have damaged their kidneys.

Daise wasn't sure she wanted one of the extended-criteria kidneys, but decided to sign up as she considered how much of her life she was missing with her five hours of at-home dialysis each day.

The new lists have shorter waiting times -- six months to two years -- depending on the blood type and other factors, surgeons said. Such organs "don't last as long as regular kidneys, but they do last a significant amount of time," Dr. George Lipkowitz, director of transplantation at Baystate Medical Center in Springfield, told the Boston Sunday Globe.

Some surgeons are experimenting with other types of marginal organs. UCLA, which has been trying an alternative heart transplant program, released findings in April that 60 percent of patients given imperfect hearts were alive five years after their transplant, compared with 76 percent of patients who received regular organs.


Great idea! After all, what could go wrong?

But, isn't there a difference between a "donated" organ, and a "low mileage, used" organ?


Thanks to http://www.thebostonchannel.com/newsarchive/4573489/detail.html


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