Sunday, December 24, 2017

The riskiest job in medicine

 The November December Message from the ASTS President Jean Edmond refers to an auto accident involving the ambulance transporting a liver to be transplanted.

"Our donor team, two fellows, a surgical resident, and a medical student were involved in a high speed car crash coming back with a liver from Long Island. Fortunately, all were seat-belted and as they stood in a daze around the crushed ambulance, the first thing they worried about was getting the liver safely back to Cornell for the implant. This moment captures the selfless devotion of our young people as they carry out the lifesaving work that we all do every day."

Here's an article about that:
The Riskiest Job in Medicine: Transplant Surgeons and Organ Procurement Travel, by M. J. Englesbe, and R. M. Merion, in the American Journal of Transplantation,  Volume 9, Issue 10, October 2009, 2406–2415


Transplant surgeons are exposed to workplace risk due to the urgent nature of travel related to organ procurement. A retrospective cohort study was completed using data from the Scientific Registry of Transplant Recipients and the National Transportation Safety Board. A web-based survey was administered to members of the American Society of Transplant Surgeons. The survey response rate was 38% (281/747). Involvement in ≥1 procurement-related travel accident was reported by 15% of respondents; surgeons reported 61 accidents and 11 fatalities. Air travel was used in 26% of procurements and was involved in 56% of accidents. The risk of fatality while traveling on an organ procurement flight was estimated to be 1000 times higher than scheduled commercial flight. Involvement in a ‘near miss accident’ was reported by 80.8%. Only 16% of respondents reported feeling ‘very safe’ while traveling. Procurement of organs by the geographically closest transplant center would have reduced the need for air travel (>100 nautical miles) for lung, heart, liver and pancreas procurement by 35%, 43%, 31% and 49%, respectively (p < 0.0001). These reductions were observed in each Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network region. Though these data have important limitations, they suggest that organ procurement travel is associated with significant risk. Improvements in organ procurement travel are needed.

Safe travels, all of you out there...

1 comment:

Eyesimple said...

The risk could be minimized by using technology (also robot) in medic