This was a difficult alert to read. However, I commend my center for looking into such issues & challenging transplant centers as a whole to do better by their patients.
While this was a liver transplant based study, I am sure livers are not the only organ that are affected by such practices.
The study (which is currently in press) can be found in its entirety in the Journal of Hepatology.
Such news is distressing because while procurement & matching is complex, priority is supposed to go to the sickest patients first.
The thought that these patients are dying or missing opportunities due to lack of consistencies of accepting organ donation offers is distressing.
Yet, like most issues, improvements can only be made when bringing such issues to light to begin with.
Organs as we all know, whether center, patient, or practitioner alike, are too scarce of a commodity to begin with. We don’t have the luxury of not addressing such issues when we find they exist. We must button up holes & gaps like this for everyone.
The most effective means of addressing a problem like this is picking it apart at the root. We must figure out why it exists before we can go about correcting it.
Looking back, similar studies were published in 2012 in the Journal of Gastroenterology.
So while we are raising awareness, progress is taking longer time to come to fruition.
However, I think Dr. Goldberg has the right approach by delving more in depth into how such decisions are made by transplant centers & working from the inside out.
This is something everyone needs to keep an eye on.
I think if patients feel comfortable in doing so, they have the right to ask more detailed questions on how their center not only matches organs but also obtain more information on their acceptance & procurement processes.
Especially if such information is not provided to them during the course of a visit.