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Howard M. Nathan: Survey Highlights Serious Gap Between Support for Organ Donation and Donor Registrations

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The holidays are here and Pennsylvanians are embracing a renewed sense of giving. However, a recent survey found that many people are reluctant to think about the greatest gift of all: the gift of life.

Donate Life PA commissioned a poll to understand the hesitation about organ donation. We asked 400 Pennsylvania adults who are currently not registered organ donors: “If you were sick or injured and needed an organ or tissue transplant, would you accept the donation?”

Eighty-two percent of people ...

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Antifibrotic Drugs Safe in Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis Patients Undergoing Lung Transplant

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It is safe to administer antifibrotic drugs to patients with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, possibly reducing disease progression over time in those awaiting lung transplant, according to recent study results.

“With increasing use of antifibrotics following recent FDA approval, questions arise about their safety in idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) patients undergoing lung transplant, yet safety data in this specific setting are currently lacking,” Isabelle Delanote, MD, from the department of respiratory disease at the University Hospitals Leuven in Belgium, and colleagues wrote. ...

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Research Suggests Kidney Donations Should Be Accepted From Older Patients

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Given the choice, most people on the kidney transplant wait list would choose an organ from a younger donor. But in some cases, receiving a lifesaving kidney from an older donor — alive or deceased — may be better than having no donor at all.

This new thinking is being driven, in part, by the shortage of kidneys available for transplant. According to the National Kidney Foundation, of the more than 121,000 people in the United States awaiting an organ transplant, ...

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Digital Pills in Monitoring of Pediatric Transplant Patients

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A large pediatric healthcare system in Dallas is sponsoring a digitized pill program that tracks the frequency with which pediatric organ transplant patients take their medications.

The program is being offered through Children’s Health of Dallas. There is no cost to patients or insurance carriers for receiving the digitized pills, says Children’s Health vice president virtual health and innovation Julie Hall-Barrow.

The program began piloting this summer with 19 patients. Since then another 50 patients have been enrolled in the program.

So far, ...

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Israeli Company Performs First Transplant of Lab-grown Bones

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An Israeli biomedical company announced that it has for the first time successfully transplanted artificially grown human bone into a group of patients suffering from bone loss.

A statement from Bonus BioGroup on Monday said the semi-liquid graft injected into the jaws of 11 people during the first phase of the clinical trial earlier this year had successfully fused to existing bone and filled gaps in the deteriorating jawbone.

“For the first time anywhere in the world, a quick, and effective and ...

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UPMC Hamot’s Kidney Transplant Program Gets Final Approval

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The plan was for Patrick Carney to receive his sister’s kidney at Buffalo’s Erie County Medical Center.

Carney, 53, and Janet Laurin, who both live in Jamestown, N.Y., had already undergone a battery of tests in 2013-14 to determine they were a good match for transplant surgery. All that was left was to schedule the transplant.

“Everything was going great, then we learned ECMC had a problem and the surgery was delayed,” said Laurin, 61. “It didn’t have anything to do with ...

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Researchers Aim for First Human Eye Transplant Within the Decade

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Scientists have strived for successful eye transplants for centuries. Early attempts read like the diary of Mary Shelley: implanting a dog’s eye into a rat’s groin, transplanting a rat’s eye onto the neck of another rat, plucking the eye of a sheep from one socket and placing it into the other.

But never has a whole-eye transplant been successfully done in a living person. The eye’s complex web of muscles, blood vessels, and nerves — connected directly to the brain — ...

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Assessing Risk of Developing Portal Vein Clots in People Awaiting Liver Transplantation

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A new scoring tool has been developed to assess the risk of developing a blood clot in the vein that brings blood from the intestines to the liver (portal vein) among people awaiting liver transplantation, according to research presented this week at The Liver Meeting® — held by the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases.

Portal vein thrombosis (PVT) in people with cirrhosis (scaring of the liver) can lead to worsening of liver disease, poorer outcomes and can potentially ...

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Dignity Health St. Joe’s Marks 500th Lung Transplant

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Early on the morning of Oct. 25, 2016, Robin Ritchie, 67, made her way into St Joseph’s Hospital. She was a very sick woman. Eighteen months earlier, her doctor told her in no uncertain terms, “I think you’re one hospital stay with pneumonia, or something like that, away from dying,” Ritchie recalled while fighting back tears.

The retired, middle school teacher had been battling emphysema and pulmonary hypertension for years. And now she was told her options were limited, except for ...

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Tumor Burden Limits Liver Transplant Feasibility for HCC

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Researchers have uncovered an upper limit in tumor burden after which there is a lower probability of successfully downstaging patients with hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) for liver transplantation, according to findings presented at the 2016 AASLD Liver Meeting.

In the small prospective study, tumor burden was negatively predictive of successful downstaging for patients with HCC (HR, 0.87; P <.05). Overall, patients with a sum of number of tumors plus largest tumor diameter of 8 had a 68% probability of being downstaged to ...

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