Researchers look to drones as pathway to increase organ utilization

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University of Maryland researchers recently reported an initial investigation of drone-based organ transportation as a potential pathway towards expanding the donor organ pool.

To monitor the organ, researchers developed new technologies that provided the real-time organ status using a wireless biosensor combined with an organ global positioning system. Fourteen drone organ missions were performed.

Temperatures remained stable and low (2.5 °C). Pressure changes (0.37–0.86 kPa) correlated with increased altitude. Drone travel was associated with less vibration (less than 0.5 ...

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Sun’s Harms Rise After Organ Transplant

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Organ transplant recipients are at increased risk for skin cancer and need to protect themselves, a dermatologist warns.

“Individuals who receive organ transplants need to take immunosuppressive medications for the rest of their lives, and this makes it more difficult for their bodies to fight disease, including skin cancer,” said Dr. Christina Lee Chung. She is former director of the Drexel Dermatology Center for Transplant Patients in Philadelphia.

“On top of that, some of these medications make the skin more sensitive to ...

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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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Could Spinach Help The Organ Transplant Crisis

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A group of scientists was able to convert a spinach leaf into a piece of working human heart tissue. They decellularized a spinach leaf and dyed it to observe if it could function as the human heart at the time of transporting blood, oxygen, and all the essential nutrients needed for life.

The experimentation conducted by this team of scientists from the Worcester Polytechnic Institute could lead to incredible improvements in the transplant field. In the recent years, many medical organizations ...

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Duke Makes Organ Transplants Possible for Jehovah’s Witnesses

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According to the Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network, only about 2,600 donor hearts become available each year. At any given time, about 4,000 people are on a waiting list for a heart transplant.

In the past, people with religious objections to blood transfusions refused this and other lifesaving procedures. But for many, the surgery is now possible without conflicting with faith.

Raoul Gibson, 35, received a donor’s heart at Duke Hospital last Valentine’s Day. Normally, he would have had to refuse the ...

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HCV drugs may slash wait times for transplants

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Imagine this: You’re treating a patient with end-stage renal disease (ESRD) who has been on the kidney transplant list for almost a year. That’s not a surprising delay; more than 100,000 people are on the waiting list nationwide, and the median wait time is now over 3.5 years. So your patient probably has at least two more years to wait—years of dialysis in which he might become too sick to receive that transplant or die before it becomes available. (More ...

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Thomas Starzl, pioneering transplant surgeon, dies at 90

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Thomas E. Starzl, whose bold vision, boundless energy and unflagging self-confidence resulted in dramatic and pioneering advances in organ transplantation and anti-rejection medicines that saved thousands of lives, died in his sleep Saturday at his home in Oakland. He was 90.

Dr. Starzl performed the world’s first liver transplant in Denver in 1963 and Pittsburgh’s first liver transplant in 1981 after moving there at the end of 1980. He was the surgeon who performed the world’s first heart-liver transplant in 1984, ...

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China Touts Reforms and Vows to Battle Corruption in Organ Donation System

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China has zero tolerance for non-voluntary organ transplants and is fighting corruption in its fledgling donor system, an official who has led reform said on Monday, as Beijing seeks to leave behind an era of controversial organ recovery.

Last year, China officially ended systematic use of organs from executed prisoners in transplant procedures, a practice long condemned by international human rights groups and medical ethicists.

Authorities keen to promote an image of a donor system more in keeping with China’s growing prominence ...

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Organ Transplants Linked to Higher Skin Cancer Risk

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People who have an organ transplant may be more likely to develop skin cancer, new research suggests.

The finding applies to all transplant patients, even those who are nonwhite and dark-skinned, according to Dr. Christina Lee Chung, an associate professor of dermatology at Drexel University in Philadelphia, and colleagues.

The researchers said the risk increases over time with ongoing exposure to medications that suppress the immune system to prevent organ rejection.

Total-body skin exams should be a routine part of care after transplant ...

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Donor, Recipient Characteristics Impact Transplant Costs

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Kidney donor and recipient characteristics impact transplant costs, according to a study published online Aug. 27 in the American Journal of Transplantation.

David Axelrod, M.D., M.B.A., from the Brody School of Medicine in Greenville, N.C., and colleagues performed a national retrospective cohort study to examine the impact of kidney donor and recipient characteristics on transplant center cost and Medicare reimbursement. Data were analyzed for 53,862 deceased donor and 36,715 living donor transplants from 2002 to 2013.

The researchers observed correlations for deceased ...

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