Sunday, September 16, 2007

Transplant Headlines

These are a few selected headlines from this weekend's transplant news from around the world.

Organ Transplants Seen as Treatment in HIV/AIDS Patients
It has long been believed that organ transplants were not a viable option for HIV patients. Now, because of the use of new clinical approaches, there have been good results in HIV patients who need kidney or liver transplants. This article in Associated notes that side effects from drugs used to treat HIV/AIDS patients can cause toxic effects to the kidneys and liver and now transplants are more feasible for these patients. Read the full article.

Unique residence a sanctuary to those waiting for organs
This posting in tells about an affordable residence in Montreal, Quebec for out-of-town patients waiting for a transplant.

La Maison des greffes is unique in Canada. It provides clean, comfortable, $15 rooms for people who are waiting for a transplant and aren't from Montreal. The residence is a lifesaver for people who live in far-flung corners of the province, or are from New Brunswick or Ottawa. Read the full story.

SOUTH Australia is to overhaul its organ donation system to bring rates up to international standards. reports that State Health Minister, John Hill, will host an organ donation summit of local and international experts next year to discuss ways of boosting the state's organ donation rate. This comes after Mr. Hill's visit to Spain, which has the highest organ donation rate in the world.

"The lesson I received from doctors in Spain is that the best way to increase donation rates is to support medical teams with better co-ordination and planning for organ donations," said Mr. Hill.

"The Spanish model generally is to appoint a doctor in each intensive care unit to co-ordinate donations. As part of our reform process, a senior doctor will be appointed as SA's organ donation co-ordinator." Read the full story.

Youngest organ donor saves life
This story from India, as posted in the on line version of The Hindu notes that organ donation is the newest committment of Indian soldiers. It details the heartwarming stories of several families who donated their loved ones organs. Read the full article.

Gonzalez’s kidney transplant "went smoothly"
The has posted the news about the Philippines Justice Secretary Raul Gonzalez, 76, receiving a kidney transplant this past Friday.

According to reports Mr. Gonzalez is doing well. Read the article as reported in the Philippine Daily Inquirer and posted on The We continue to learn of organ transplants in older patients, dispelling the myth that older patients are not suitable candidates for these life-saving operations.

Live donor scheme has no takers
The BBC reports that since Scotland permitted live liver donation last year there have been no takers for the procedure.

"Patients who need a new liver are refusing to take live donor transplants from relatives because they believe it is too risky for their loved ones."

The report notes that complications of liver transplants are higher than for kidney transplants and that about one in 200 people die from the procedure. Read the story. Note: I personally know several living liver donors and their recipients here in Canada, and the procedure is common in the U.S, Canada, Japan and some parts of Europe. Merv.

Presence of drugs doesn't stop transplants
The MetroWest Daily News in Framingham, Massachusetts notes that Maxsuel Medeiros' organs could still save the lives of as many as a half-dozen people, despite the fact that the Framingham man had cocaine in his system when he died this week. The article gives an excellent overview of the testing for drugs and infection in potential donors befor organs are accepted for transplant and answers a lot of questions about the criteria used to determine the suitability of organs for transplant.

"If you're in need of a liver or a heart, and you have a couple days to live, the fact that a person might have traces of drugs in their system is less important than your dire need for a heart."

If you have an interest in how organs and tissues are selected for transplantation this is a Must read.

“You Have the Power to Save Lives – Sign Your Donor Card & Tell Your Loved Ones of Your Decision”

Download Donor Cards from Trillium Gift of Life Network

Download Donor Cards from OrganDonor.Gov

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