New Kentucky bill requires medical examiners to verify donor status

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FRANKFORT, Ky. – A new Kentucky house bill passed Monday, January 29, will go to the state Senate for approval.

Under House Bill 84, coroners and medical examiners will be required to verify organ and tissue donation wishes of the deceased while in their care.

Coroners/M.E. will need to release relevant and identifying information about a deceased person to the Kentucky Organ Donor Affiliates (KODA)  if the person’s body is acceptable for transplant or therapy needs.

Right now, that information is only released ...

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Kidney transplant can reverse platelet dysfunction in end-state renal disease, new study shows

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Platelet dysfunction due to renal diseases such as Alport syndrome can be effectively reversed with a successful kidney transplant, according to a study published in the Clinical Kidney Journal.

It is common for patients with end-stage renal disease (ESRD) to experience bleeding, more frequent bleeding into the skin, and bleeding from mucosal surfaces. Several disease-related and external factors are known to contribute to this.

Drugs such as anticoagulant agents used to prevent blood clots from forming during dialysis, gastrointestinal changes, and platelet dysfunction due to ...

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Post-transplant coordinators help patients manage life after surgery

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Following a successful organ transplant, the main goal for most patients is to resume a normal lifestyle as soon as possible. In many cases, though, it’s a tremendous adjustment with significant demands – especially during the first couple of years after transplant.

In the case of a heart transplant, for example, the new lifestyle involves twice-a-week visits to the clinic for the first 6-8 weeks after transplant, various tests and imaging, and extensive lab work. Each organ type has its specific ...

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Man becomes first patient to receive a second face transplant

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Twelve years ago, a team of surgeons in France successfully completed the first-ever face transplant procedure. Unfortunately, seven years after the history-making surgery, the patient’s body rejected the transplant.

Since the rejection occurred, the patient has been living without a suitable alternative. In a risky move, surgeons decided to attempt to transplant a second face, this time from a different donor. It’s still too soon to say whether or not this transplant will be accepted, but the surgery itself was successful.

Rejection is likely ...

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Pilots: some of the unsung heroes in organ transplants

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— Todd Ratzlaff’s Sunday evening was winding down.

He had picked up his three children, ages 11, 14 and 15, from swim practice. They’d eaten dinner and were settling in at their Trafalgar home. It was 7 or 8 p.m.

That’s when his iPhone rang.

A few hours later, Ratzlaff was off to help save lives. He is a pilot for TxJet, a subsidiary of the Indiana Donor Network that transports life-saving organs to recipients in Indiana.

That Sunday in November, he and ...

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More than 10,000 donated organs in 2017, marking a record

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Victoria Arias wanted to save lives.

The 18-year-old Arizona honor student was preparing to head to St. Mary’s University of Minnesota with the hope of becoming a doctor.

She played the violin and volleyball, and was a devout Catholic who had saved up for a pilgrimage to Rome to see the pope. Victoria had plans for the future.

“She wanted to be a trauma surgeon,” her mother, Lorena Arias, said. “She had big dreams. She was going to do it.”

Victoria did end up ...

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Post-heart transplant cancer rates are climbing

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More than 10 percent of heart transplant recipients developed cancer between one and five years post-transplantation—most commonly skin cancer—according to a study published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

Survival in transplant patients with de novo malignancy—the first occurrence of cancer in the body—is markedly shorter than those with no malignancy, reported lead author Jong-Chan Youn, MD, PhD, and colleagues.

“Importantly, the increased risk of mortality was sizeable even for patients diagnosed with skin cancer; this finding is in contrast to the ...

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Preventing hypoxic injury in transplanted kidneys

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A nephrology laboratory at University of California San Diego School of Medicine is currently investigating possible interventions to help prevent and treat hypoxic kidney injury to improve outcomes for kidney transplant patients. The lab, led by principal investigator Dianne McKay, MD, explains why it is important to understand these injuries and some interesting places they are finding answers.

Question: Why is understanding hypoxic injury important for transplantation?

Answer: All organs used for transplantation undergo hypoxic injury because the removal of the organ from ...

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Key found to making transplant rejection a thing of the past?

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Houston Methodist researchers have cracked a code in T-cells that could make autoimmune diseases and organ transplant rejection a thing of the past.

Wenhao Chen, Ph.D., a scientist in the Immunobiology and Transplant Science Center at the Houston Methodist Research Institute, and his colleagues have identified a critical switch that controls T-cell function and dysfunction and have discovered a pathway to target it.

Their findings are described in an article titled “Ablation of Transcription Factor IRF4 Promotes Transplant Acceptance by Driving Allogenic ...

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Giving young organ transplant recipients a mobile reminder that might save their lives

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In the U.S., more than 1,700 children receive organ transplants each year. Following transplantation, they must take immunosuppressants and steroids to protect their transplanted organ from being attacked by their own immune system.

But transplant teams know that kids are 60 percent more likely than adults to struggle with keeping a strict medication schedule. That puts the longevity of donated organs — and the lives of organ recipients — at unnecessary risk.

This challenge inspired a team of pediatric transplant experts at ...

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