Recycling Donated Organs? Doctor Breaks Taboo Of Re-Using Kidneys In Midst Of Shortage
Dr. Jeffrey Veale is the first surgeon focused on making the re-use of transplanted kidneys routine. "We shouldn’t be discarding these young, healthy kidneys," he says. In other news, the United Network for Organ Sharing, which has held a tight rein on organ donation in the United States, may be facing competition.
'Regifting' Transplanted Kidneys Could Ease The Organ Shortage
There have been a handful of case reports of kidneys being reused after the first recipient dies or rejects the donor kidney, generally just days after the original surgery and often while the recipient and organ are still at a transplant center, said Tom Mone, CEO of OneLegacy, a nonprofit organ procurement organization based in southern California. “There’s no history or practice of re-transplanting,” he said. “Among transplant surgeons, there’s a mistrust it will not work out. ”Kidneys that have been transplanted once are rarely used again, [Dr. Jeffrey Veale] said, because they are seen as damaged goods after going through not one, but two “death events” and because transplant surgery can be rough on organs — they get flushed with solution, put on ice, and are sometimes injured by the reperfusion of blood, he said. Immune-suppressing drugs can also be toxic to kidneys. (McFarling, 4/25)
The Washington Post:
For The First Time In Years, New Groups May Vie To Run Organ Transplant Network
For 32 years, the nonprofit United Network for Organ Sharing has held the federal contract to run the complex U.S. transplant system, a round-the-clock operation that matches donated organs with the sick people who need them. The Richmond-based UNOS has grown substantially and become more entrenched as transplantation has expanded. It collected nearly $58 million in revenue in 2015, according to federal tax records. But it has not faced competition from any other bidder since before 2005. (Bernstein, 4/24)