Sunday, June 27, 2010

Misc. organ transplant links

A Review of Organ and Tissue Donation Procedures by the Royal Australasian College of Physicians nicely summarizes some of the different ways deceased donor organs are dealt with around the world.

The ‘blood group O problem’ in kidney transplantation—time to change? discusses the Eurotransplant Kidney Allocation System, which apparently allows some O kidneys to go to patients who aren't type O.

Mike Rees' revolution of non-simultaneous non-directed donor chains continues to bear fruit in unexpected ways: LOYOLA PROGRAM A RADICAL SHIFT IN LIVING DONOR KIDNEY TRANSPLANTS
"In a first, four people step forward to donate kidneys to complete strangers across the country with no strings attached."...
"It's extremely rare when someone asking for nothing in return steps forward at a hospital and offers to donate a kidney to a complete stranger.
What's rarer still is what has happened at Loyola University Medical Center -- four people have stepped forward and offered to donate kidneys to four complete strangers and none have asked for a thing in return.
"This is completely unique and totally unheard of," said Garet Hill, founder of the nonprofit National Kidney Registry, which coordinated the donations. "We have never had four donors from one institution come forward at one time to offer up kidneys for donation with no strings attached."
The selfless acts by the four have helped Loyola launch its Pay-it-Forward Kidney Transplant Program, the first of its kind in the Midwest, and the largest number of altruistic donors to ever begin such a program in the United States."

Here's a collection of kidney exchange stories and videos from MSNBC, some rather old:

And here's a live donor story: From Fear To Elation: Prepping To Be An Organ Donor

Deceased donor allocation policies are also a very big deal. Alex Tabarrok at MR has a thought provoking post on one aspect of the debate: Optimizing Kidney Allocation: LYFT for LIFE which touches on the issue of how it's often difficult to make changes in health care policy that aren't Pareto improvements, even if they are improvements by other measures.

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