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Organ Donation & Transplant Matters Resources
Combining reports, research findings and topic reviews
Curated by Deborah Verran
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Tissue engineering: Organs from the lab - Nature.com

Tissue engineering: Organs from the lab - Nature.com | Organ Donation & Transplant Matters Resources | Scoop.it

The body's organs are more complex than any factory. Attempts to mirror their physiology in the laboratory are now getting closer to capturing their individual intricacies.

 

This well written article outlines the gains that have been made with organ and tissue engineering, particularly the "organ on a chip" technology which is now increasingly being used for research and testing purposes.

 

However due to the inherent complexities in all of the human organs there is still a lot more in the way of research which needs to be undertaken. This is in order to allow step wise progress in the bioengineering of organs to be made.

Deborah Verran's insight:

The latest summary of this fascinating area of ongoing research.

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Researchers achieving improved outcomes with Pig-to-Primate Organ Transplants - MIT Technology Review

Researchers achieving improved outcomes with Pig-to-Primate Organ Transplants - MIT Technology Review | Organ Donation & Transplant Matters Resources | Scoop.it

A biotech company’s genetically engineered pigs are now setting new records for outcomes as the result of xenotransplantation of some of the organs into primates.

 

It appears that years of laboratory research are now beginning to deliver promising results with the use of these particular animal organs for transplantation purposes. It may be possible that if the results continue to improve that trials in humans may be contemplated in the not too distant future.

Deborah Verran's insight:

Good summary of the current status of xenotransplantation. The full article can be accessed by clicking on the banner headline.

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Organ donation: Faces at the front line - National - NZ Herald News

Organ donation: Faces at the front line - National - NZ Herald News | Organ Donation & Transplant Matters Resources | Scoop.it

Dr Emma Merry an Intensive Care Unit (ICU) Physician can still remember how nervous she felt the first time she spoke to a grieving family about the possibility of donating their loved one's organs. 

 

As Dr Merry explains in her interview for this story, there are a number of challenges faced by ICU physicians who are faced with dealing with the relatives of a potential organ donor who is in the ICU.

 

The article also delves into what are some of the possible contributory factors behind the relatively low rates of organ donation within New Zealand compared to many other Western countries.

Deborah Verran's insight:

Sound account from an ICU physician of the challenges that they face when dealing with a prospective organ donor. 

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Early Stanford live kidney donor dies aged 99 years

Early Stanford live kidney donor dies aged 99 years | Organ Donation & Transplant Matters Resources | Scoop.it

One of Stanford hospitals first living kidney donors lived a long and fulfilling life with her family until her death in April 2015.

 

In 1965 Inga Goodnight donated a kidney to her young son Gary Goodnight (picture above years later). Despite the fact that Inga was only the third live kidney donor in the Stanford hospitals renal transplant programme, the transplant procedure undertaken in 1965 was a success.

 

Inga went on to live a full life and more on both her and Gary's stories can be accessed by clicking on the banner headline.

Deborah Verran's insight:

An interesting story of one of early live kidney donors in the United States and how the transplant procedure allowed her son to live well into adulthood.

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UCLA Patient Is First in the World to Successfully Receive a new prototype of a total artificial Heart

UCLA Patient Is First in the World to Successfully Receive a new prototype of a total artificial Heart | Organ Donation & Transplant Matters Resources | Scoop.it

It has been announced this last week that a 44-year-old woman has received a successful heart transplant at Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center in the United States, thanks to an experimental Total Artificial Heart designed for smaller patients.

 

This particular smaller model of the Syncardia prototype of the total artificial heart is the first one to have been successfully implanted into a smaller patient.

Deborah Verran's insight:

Another important step in the provision of total artificial heart transplants to patients who are in need

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Surgeon describes first skull and scalp transplant, Newshour - BBC World Service

Surgeon describes first skull and scalp transplant, Newshour - BBC World Service | Organ Donation & Transplant Matters Resources | Scoop.it

Surgeon Michael Klebuc describes the operation that was required to replace Jim Boysen's skull and scalp.

 

Dr Klebuc also describes the challenges with sourcing the appropriate size matched and colour matched composite tissue graft that was used to partially replace this patients own skull and scalp. The audio can be accessed via clicking on the banner headline.

 

A more detailed online report of the planning that was required as well as the conduct of the surgery and the aftercare of this patient can be accessed via the following link-

http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/morning-mix/wp/2015/06/05/texas-man-gets-worlds-first-skull-and-scalp-transplant-plus-a-new-kidney-and-pancreas/

 

Deborah Verran's insight:

This patient underwent both a composite tissue transplant as well as a combined kidney-pancreas solid organ transplant. This required the co-operation of multiple surgical teams as well as rigorous attention to both planning and undertaking the surgical procedure.

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Transplant Network Reaches Milestone of 500,000 Deceased Donor Organ Transplants

Transplant Network Reaches Milestone of 500,000 Deceased Donor Organ Transplants | Organ Donation & Transplant Matters Resources | Scoop.it

As of May 19, 2015, the national transplant allocation system developed by United Network for Organ Sharing has coordinated 500,000 organ transplants from deceased donors in the United States since its beginning in October 1987.

Deborah Verran's insight:

A significant mile stone was reached this last week by the United Network of Organ Sharing in the United States

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Drugs produce high hepatitis C eradication rates, even in patients with liver disease

Drugs produce high hepatitis C eradication rates, even in patients with liver disease | Organ Donation & Transplant Matters Resources | Scoop.it

This is the latest report of success being achieved with new direct anti-viral drugs in the treatment of hepatitis C.

 

Two clinical trials of antiviral drug combinations report that 12-week courses are leading to effective viral eradication for a high percentage of patients with chronic hepatitis C infection.

 

To read more on the particular drugs involved and what the exact results were please click on the banner headline.

Deborah Verran's insight:

Further evidence of the efficacy of some of the new antiviral agents for treating chronic hepatitis C. It is hoped that eventually there will be less patients requiring liver transplantation for liver disease due to this particular virus.

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Regenerative Medicine - JAMA: The Journal of the American Medical Association

Regenerative Medicine - JAMA:  The Journal of the American Medical Association | Organ Donation & Transplant Matters Resources | Scoop.it

This Viewpoint describes how regenerative medicine through advances in cell biology, biomaterial science, and biological molecule discovery can replace or regenerate human cells, tissues, and organs harmed by disease or injury. However the full replacement of solid organs remains at this stage a vision, with many barriers needing to be overcome via ongoing laboratory research.

 

The first page of the article can be viewed by clicking on the banner headline. The full article requires access to a subscription to JAMA or can be purchsed online

Deborah Verran's insight:

This is one of a steady stream of review articles appearing regularly in the scientific literature on this relatively new area in medicine.

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Europe's first heart transplant from a donation after circulatory death organ donor

Europe's first heart transplant from a donation after circulatory death organ donor | Organ Donation & Transplant Matters Resources | Scoop.it

Surgeons at the Papworth hospital in Cambridgeshire, the United Kingdom have performed the first successful heart transplant in Europe using a heart retrieved from a donation after circulatory death (DCD) organ donor.

 

 Importantly the heart was placed on the TransMedics organ Care System device (pictured), following its removal from the deceased donor. This allowed for an assessment to be made as to the suitability of the heart to then be transplanted. A video which includes footage of the man who received the donor heart can be accessed by clicking on the banner headline.

 

This follows on from the report from Australia of two successful heart transplants from DCD organ donors in 2014 http://sco.lt/7Z57IX

 

Deborah Verran's insight:

News that a second heart transplant programme has successfully transplanted the heart from a DCD organ donor

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The BiVACOR artificial heart: developed in Queensland Australia

The BiVACOR artificial heart: developed in Queensland Australia | Organ Donation & Transplant Matters Resources | Scoop.it

This story is about a new type of artificial heart which has been developed in Australia and is now being trialed in a large animal model. This type of heart is unusual in that the flow of blood is not intermittent, hence there is no pulse which can be detected in the recipient.

 

The full article contains information about the developers, the collaborative partnerships that have been required to ensure the research could get to this stage as well as more information about the device itself. This can be accessed by clicking on the banner headline.

 

The hope is that this type of device will ultimately be trialed in humans. If it is successful then it could be an alternative to conventional heart transplantation in selected cases.

Deborah Verran's insight:

Well put together article, containing fine graphics. A must read for anyone interested in medical technology

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Overcoming the barriers to organ transplants in Bolivia

Overcoming the barriers to organ transplants in Bolivia | Organ Donation & Transplant Matters Resources | Scoop.it

This report comes via the Associated Press in LA PAZ, Bolivia (AP).

and features the case of a woman who finally received a live donor kidney transplant towards the end of 2014 as part of a new government sponsored initiative. This involves promoting organ transplantation as well as working on overcoming pre-existing cultural barriers, some of which are explored in the article.

 

Prior to the transplant Maria Ramos battled bouts of depression for seven years as she underwent thrice-weekly dialysis treatments to keep her alive.  Her ambition of becoming a schoolteacher at times was previously an unattainable dream.

 

 

Deborah Verran's insight:

News from Bolivia of some of the measures being taken to improve the rates of organ transplantation

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Pregnancy Outcomes are Similar for Adult and Child Female Kidney Transplant Recipients

Pregnancy Outcomes are Similar for Adult and Child Female Kidney Transplant Recipients | Organ Donation & Transplant Matters Resources | Scoop.it

Pregnancy outcomes are similar for women who have received a kidney transplant, whether they were a child or an adult at the time when they got their transplant, according to a new study published in the February issue of JAMA Pediatrics.

 

These are the conclusions of researchers who analysed data held in the ANZDATA Registry.

Deborah Verran's insight:

Important data which can be used to help guide clinicians in offering advice to women of child bearing age post kidney transplantation

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Organ donor's reported ancestry depends on question format - Medical Xpress

Organ donor's reported ancestry depends on question format - Medical Xpress | Organ Donation & Transplant Matters Resources | Scoop.it

For years, medicine has relied on self-reported race/ethnicity as the basis of an array of decisions, from risk for disease to matching of organ and tissue donors with recipients.

 

However with the increasing recognition of the importance of genetic matching based on sophisticated bioinformatics particularly in bone marrow transplantation the validity of self reported race/ethnicity is now being called into question.

 

The results of research into this very topic have now been reported online and a summary of the research can be viewed by clicking on the banner headline.

Deborah Verran's insight:

For bone marrow transplantation close genetic matching between the donor and the recipient is essential, whereas for most types of solid organ transplantation (except for kidneys) this is not as critical.

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First Bilateral Hand Transplant in a Child: Zion's Story - YouTube

This is the video about the world’s first bilateral hand transplant performed in young Zion Harvey (pictured above) at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. For more: http://www.chop.edu/handtranspla...

 

An interview with the lead surgeon ( Dr L Scott Levin), provides a lot more detail on the planning and teamwork that was required in order for the procedure to even be contemplated. This can be accessed via the following Medscape link-

 

http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/848727

 

Deborah Verran's insight:

Quality video which tells the story of Zion's journey through the transplant procedure

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The moral dilemma of organ donation in Egypt

The moral dilemma of organ donation in Egypt | Organ Donation & Transplant Matters Resources | Scoop.it

Egyptians in need of transplants face a choice between trying to source an organ from a live donor or if they have the financial means to try and source a transplant via other avenues.

 

Due to the political instability in Egypt despite the passage of legislation allowing organ donation to occur from deceased donors post declaration of brain death, there have been barriers to implementing this in practice. However progress has been made with respect to shutting down illegal organ trafficking operations.

Deborah Verran's insight:

This article provides an insight into the current challenges and barriers to organ donation in Egpt

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New organ preservation technique could replace cold static storage for donated organs

New organ preservation technique could replace cold static storage for donated organs | Organ Donation & Transplant Matters Resources | Scoop.it

For decades, surgeons around the United States have preserved organs in a cold solution as the organs are shipped in coolers to transplant recipients hundreds of miles away.

 

However the development of machine preservation technology is now allowing trials to be undertaken in order to explore whether there are benefits to preserving donated organs differently.

 

However as this article explores although there may be some benefits to machine preservation of donor organs this comes at a cost and it remains to be seen whether the method will be suitable for all donated organs.

Deborah Verran's insight:

Further data is awaited from the ongoing trials of machine preservation of donated hearts, livers and lungs

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In death, doctor's organ donation mission receives new life

In death, doctor's organ donation mission receives new life | Organ Donation & Transplant Matters Resources | Scoop.it

The recent death of a middle aged Canadian anesthesiologist (anaesthetist) who then went on to be an organ donor has attracted media attention.

 

During her life Dr Jennifer Bender had publicly advocated for organ donation. Hence it came as a shock to everyone who knew her when she recently collapsed and went on to die in hospital.

 

Mourning colleagues have been quick to point to the eight or so lives that may have been saved by Jennifer Bender’s thoughtfulness and discussions with her immediate family about organ donation.

 

The rest of this story can be vewed by clicking on the banner headline.

Deborah Verran's insight:

A reminder of the importance of both thinking about organ donation and having the chat with family members even if you are relatively young and seem to be in good health.

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Intensive care practices in brain death diagnosis and organ donation - Escudero - 2015 - Anaesthesia - Wiley Online Library

Intensive care practices in brain death diagnosis and organ donation - Escudero - 2015 - Anaesthesia - Wiley Online Library | Organ Donation & Transplant Matters Resources | Scoop.it

This abstract is from an early view article about Intensive care practices around the declaration of Brain Death for the purposes of organ donation in Spain. The link to the abstract is via http://t.co/7RD8ncfiLl

 

Access to the full article is via a paid subscription.

Deborah Verran's insight:

This article will be of interest to healthcare professionals involved in the identification and management of potential organ donors particularly in the intensive care unit

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Kidneys for sale: Iran’s trade in organs

Kidneys for sale: Iran’s trade in organs | Organ Donation & Transplant Matters Resources | Scoop.it

Iran is the only country in the world where it is legal to sell a kidney. Donors get money from the buyer and from the state, a system which eradicated waiting lists but, detractors say, now exploits the poor and vulnerable. Here, we follow one terrible story.

 

To read the full story click on the banner headline. There is also a photo library of images available for viewing which relate to the story.

Deborah Verran's insight:

This article exposes the harsh reality of a poor family selling virtually everything they have in order to 'buy' a live donor kidney for their son. This story does not have a happy ending.

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An unexpected microbe is lethal for some organ transplant recipents - Science /AAAS

An unexpected microbe is lethal for some organ transplant recipents - Science /AAAS | Organ Donation & Transplant Matters Resources | Scoop.it

A just released research study points the finger at a certain type of bacteria that can cause a lethal increase in the ammonia levels of lung transplant recipients which can then lead on to death.

 

For the first time as the result of scientific detective work the organisms concerned (Ureaplasma type bacteria), appear to become problematic for lung transplant recipients if they become infected with them.

Deborah Verran's insight:

A significant break through in determining a cause for some of the unexplained deaths in lung transplant recipients

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Inside the hospitals performing thousands black market organ transplant procedures

Inside the hospitals performing thousands black market organ transplant procedures | Organ Donation & Transplant Matters Resources | Scoop.it

In India, where these pictures were taken, around 2,000 people are thought to illegally sell their kidneys each year on the black market. This article exposes this practice and provides some estimates on how many of these type of procedures may be being performed per year internationally.

 

The language used to describe the conditions in some of the hospitals where these particular surgeries are being undertaken is not mild. For further information click on the banner headline.

Deborah Verran's insight:

More evidence of what happens when desperate patients link up with desperate individuals who are prepared to sell their own organs with brokers acting as the so called 'middle men'.

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Surgeons announce world's first successful penis transplant - Washington Post

Surgeons announce world's first successful penis transplant - Washington Post | Organ Donation & Transplant Matters Resources | Scoop.it

The announcement has been made of the worlds first successful penis (penile transplant). This is only the second time a penile transplant has been attempted, and this is the first time that  it has worked.

 

It took a surgical team nine hours to accomplish the surgery and there were constraints around sourcing the penis from a deceased donor.

 

The announcement was followed by a reporter who tweeted out information in a series of tweets which form the basis of this particular online report.

 

Another media report can be accessed via the following link-

http://www.medicaldaily.com/worlds-first-successful-penis-transplant-man-receives-new-sex-organ-after-9-hour-325604

 

Deborah Verran's insight:

This particular type of rare composite tissue transplant requires that a number of conditions be met. This includes the need to balance the long term risks of immune suppressing drugs versus the need to provide a young man with a fully functional penis. 

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Bionic reconstruction gives men first prosthetic hands controlled by mind

Bionic reconstruction gives men first prosthetic hands controlled by mind | Organ Donation & Transplant Matters Resources | Scoop.it

Three Austrians have had their injured limbs amputated, then nerves and muscles have been transplanted from the leg to the arm in each case so that the patients could learn to control their new prosthetic hands.

 

This is the online report summarizing the results of research that has just been published online in the medical journal The Lancet. This new approach to replacing damaged limbs with a hybrid of the patients own tissues and robotic type technology appears to be extremely promising.

 

A video of the functional results with use of the new bionic arm in practice can be viewed via the link which can be accessed by clicking on the banner headline or via the following link-

http://www.theguardian.com/science/video/2015/feb/25/world-first-bionic-hand-controlled-by-mind-video

 

 

Deborah Verran's insight:

Extraordinary development. This approach avoids the risks associated with life long anti-rejection therapy which is required for patients who may instead undergo arm transplantation.

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Why is organ & tissue donation taboo for Kenyans?

Why is organ & tissue donation taboo for Kenyans? | Organ Donation & Transplant Matters Resources | Scoop.it

It appears that deeply engrained religious and cultural beliefs prevent people in Kenya from donating both organs and tissues but some doctors are trying to change attitudes, writes Anne Soy.

 

There is an urgent need for corneas that can then be used to correct the vision of patients affected by disorders of the cornea including keratoconus. Although corneas are imported into Kenya, the cost is prohibitive for many patients as well as the health system. Hence there is a real need to improve the rates of tissue donation along with the rates of organ donation in Kenya so that more patients can benefit.

 

Attempts are being made to educate people in the community with some of the medical professionals now raising awareness of the importance of organ and tissue donation in order to assist with leading the efforts to achieve much needed change in Kenya.

Deborah Verran's insight:

Well written article outlining some of the barriers to organ and tissue donation in Kenya

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