Organ Donation & Transplant Matters Resources
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Brain death decline means fewer donors - Vancouver Sun

Brain death decline means fewer donors - Vancouver Sun | Organ Donation & Transplant Matters Resources | Scoop.it

The incidence of brain death may be declining hence leading to fewer numbers of organ donors  as reported via the Vancouver Sun.
The report summarises the results of a research study that has been published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal.

 

Analysis of data from hospitals in one region of Canada has revealed a decrease in the number of patients in whom the diagnosis of brain death was able to be made over the course of the study period.

 

Hence this has implications for organ donation with mention being made of the alternative pathway to deceased donor organ donation- Donation after circulatory death

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Human-embryo editing now covered by stem-cell guidelines

Human-embryo editing now covered by stem-cell guidelines | Organ Donation & Transplant Matters Resources | Scoop.it

New international guidelines have just been published by the International Society of Stem Cell Research (ISSCR), which cover all aspects of stem-cell research. This is an attempt to fend off the need for further government regulation that could impede this particular  research including the manipulation of human embryos in the laboratory setting.


To read more on this story click on the following link-


http://www.nature.com/news/human-embryo-editing-now-covered-by-stem-cell-guidelines-1.19909


In addition calls are being made for there to be more realistic and responsible reporting of stem cell research which has suffered in recent years from 'too much hype'-



http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-05-12/stop-hyping-stem-cell-science-say-stem-cell-scientists


Deborah Verran's insight:
This will be of interest to anyone following the current research into stem cells and tissue engineering
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Nearly 16,000 transplants to be performed in China this year

Nearly 16,000 transplants to be performed in China this year | Organ Donation & Transplant Matters Resources | Scoop.it

About 15,000 to 16,000 patients will receive organ transplants in China this year or the equivalent of about half of the 31,000 people on the waiting list for donations, the country’s Organ Donation and Transplantation Committee said.


The article mentions the limited summary data that have just been released via government officials. Mention is also made of a small number of cases where live donors have donated organs to family members within China





Deborah Verran's insight:
The latest official data released from authorities in China
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One doctor's war against global organ trafficking

One doctor's war against global organ trafficking | Organ Donation & Transplant Matters Resources | Scoop.it

Dr. Francis Delmonico, a Harvard Medical School professor, has spent more than a decade leading the fight to establish global ethics principles that govern how human organs are obtained and transplanted.


Read about his involvement in some of the international efforts to try and put a stop to various illicit organ donation and transplantation practices around the world including but not limited to China.


Deborah Verran's insight:
This article will be of particular interest to policy makers as well as healthcare professional involved in either organ donation or transplantation
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John Oliver targets dialysis, a procedure that’s exhausting, deadly, and very profitable in the United States

John Oliver targets dialysis, a procedure that’s exhausting, deadly, and very profitable in the United States | Organ Donation & Transplant Matters Resources | Scoop.it

If you understand what is happening in some parts of the United States with patients who are undergoing dialysis then there is the opportunity for steps to be taken to improve the situation.


This includes the patients on dialysis understanding that their treatment options include a kidney transplant. Their family members also need to understand that there are treatment options. In addition members of the wider community can contribute by joining the organ donor registry and also informing their own relatives of this fact. 


The video footage can be viewed via the following link-

https://youtu.be/IDjEtF59Fiw


Deborah Verran's insight:
Dialysis services are frequently outsourced to companies in the United States. One provider comes in for extra scrutiny via this particular on air late night TV program. The video footage is worth watching.
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Meeting an organ trafficker who preys on Syrian refugees - BBC News

Meeting an organ trafficker who preys on Syrian refugees - BBC News | Organ Donation & Transplant Matters Resources | Scoop.it

An interview is held with a young man in a small shop in a back alley way of a city in Lebanon. The information that he goes on to provide is chilling.


Abu Jaafar's job is to find people desperate enough to give up a part of their body for money i.e being willing to sell one of their kidneys or even an eye.


This includes desperate Syrian refugees who need money in order to try and survive.


The descriptions of how the transactions occur and how individuals are managed after the surgery to remove a kidney are chilling.

Deborah Verran's insight:
Extremely concerning that vulnerable refugees in Lebanon are being sought to provide organs and tissues for transplantation
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First two government funded kidney transplants have been performed in Nepal

First two government funded kidney transplants have been performed in Nepal | Organ Donation & Transplant Matters Resources | Scoop.it

It has been reported this last week that the first government funded kidney transplants have recently been performed in Nepal.

The full link to the story-
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Not enough donors, surgeons or teams for organ transplants in Malaysia

Not enough donors, surgeons or teams for organ transplants in Malaysia | Organ Donation & Transplant Matters Resources | Scoop.it

Malaysia is in critical need of more organ transplant surgeons but even if there were more available, there continues to be a lack of surgical teams to retrieve the organs from deceased donors.


This online article makes the point that until now deceased donor organ donation within Malaysia has been an infrequent activity which turns on the ability to mobilise surgical teams made up of individuals whose primary roles within the healthcare sector involve other non related activities.


Hence the absence of dedicated surgeons, along with the lack of additional requisite infra-structure including intensive care unit beds and operating room capacity are now seen to be an issue. Hence for both organ donation and organ transplantation to increase within Malaysia addressing these specific issues is now essential.



Deborah Verran's insight:
Both organ donation as well as organ transplantation require adequate resourcing. This includes resources be diverted specifically towards the requisite infra structure along with having the professionals who are required in order to facilitate this particular activity
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Desperate patients turning to social media for kidney transplants

Desperate patients turning to social media for kidney transplants | Organ Donation & Transplant Matters Resources | Scoop.it

DESPERATE patients who need a kidney transplant are resorting to social media for help because of a shortage of donors.

Transplant staff in Glasgow said there had been a rise in inquiries about Directed Altruistic Organ Donation, a controversial area in living donation, where patients make a public appeal for a donor, either online on sites such as Facebook or within transplant groups or even newspapers.

 

The British Transplantation Society say directed altruism is a “challenging and controversial area” but that more recipients are exploring the option.

Donors may have a genetic relationship to the recipient with little or no formal contact or a complete stranger with no family connection.

The Human Tissue Authority can give approval provided there is no evidence of coercion of the donor. Referrals that arise through paid advertising will also not be accepted.


To read more about the specific challenges being  faced by some of the healthcare professionals including comments made by Julie Glen, a live donor coordinator for NHSGGC, click on the banner headline.





Via Plus91
Deborah Verran's insight:
In a number of countries there are guidelines in place pertaining to altruistic live donor kidney donation in order to ensure that certain preconditions are met by the potential donors
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Iron nanoparticles could bring organs back from a deep freeze in the future

Iron nanoparticles could bring organs back from a deep freeze in the future | Organ Donation & Transplant Matters Resources | Scoop.it

While deep-freezing techniques exist to preserve organs for long periods of time, the tissue can get damaged when being reheated, hence making it an impractical solution for transplants. Researchers at the University of Minnesota believe they have solved this problem thanks to tiny microscopic particles. The full scientific report of this research can be accessed via the following link-


http://stm.sciencemag.org/content/9/379/eaah4586


However as summarized in this other online article, this new process of successfully freezing and rewarming is currently limited to small pieces of tissue which have been treated with these new nanoparticles -


http://sco.lt/8D9anR





Via ANDREAS SOFRONIOU
Deborah Verran's insight:
Currently this technique has been shown to work for only small amounts of tissue. Hence it will be quite a while before it becomes evident whether this process can be applied to organs.
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Study retraction reignites concern over China’s possible use of prisoner organs

Study retraction reignites concern over China’s possible use of prisoner organs | Organ Donation & Transplant Matters Resources | Scoop.it

The authors of liver transplant outcomes study were unable to  satisfy a journal editor (Liver International) that organs were not from obtained from executed prisoners in China.


Hence the article in question has now been retracted.


It is essential that the sources of organs that are used for the purpose of transplantation are able to be verified in order to meet agreed upon standards for the publication of scientific manuscripts.

Deborah Verran's insight:
It is essential that there be openness and transparency with respect to the reporting of data on both organ donation as well as organ transplantation activities around the world.
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Desde hoy, todos los colombianos serán donantes de órganos - New Opt out system for organ donation in Colombia

Desde hoy, todos los colombianos serán donantes de órganos - New Opt out system for organ donation in Colombia | Organ Donation & Transplant Matters Resources | Scoop.it

En Colombia hay cerca de 2.600 pacientes en lista de espera de órganos. Por eso, para Alejandra Martín, promotora en la donación de órganos en Santander, la ley que comenzará a regir mañana, que declara a todos los colombianos donantes es una noticia de vida para miles. "He visto morir a tantas personas en la lista de espera que quisiera devolver el tiempo para haber comenzado antes a promover la donación”, relata.


This media release from Colombia confirms that as from today Colombia now has an opt out system for organ donation in place. Hence all potential organ donors who are medically suitable will proceed unless they have formally registered a 'No' whilst they were alive. According to the article for individuals who wish to register a No this involves making a formal statement with a notary, whilst they are alive. These statements will then be registered with the National Health Institute.


This reflects the culmination of a 6 month implementation period following the sanctioning of Law 1805 of 2016 by President Juan Manuel Santos in August 2016-

http://confidencialcolombia.com/es/1/actualidad/28986/Desde-hoy-sus-%C3%B3rganos-ser%C3%A1n-del-Estado-tras-la-muerte-Noticias-Confidencial-Colombia-donaci%C3%B3n-de-%C3%B3rganos-ley-de-donaci%C3%B3n-obligatorio.htm?platform=hootsuite


Deborah Verran's insight:
It appears that Colombia now has an opt out system for organ donation in place
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Russia’s Shumakov center boasts record number of heart transplantations in 2016

Russia’s Shumakov center boasts record number of heart transplantations in 2016 | Organ Donation & Transplant Matters Resources | Scoop.it

In a brief report from MOSCOW, via the TASS news organization, it is confirmed that  Russia’s Shumakov Center of Transplantology and Artificial Organs performed 132 heart transplant operations last year. This makes this center an absolute leader in this sector, the Russian Healthcare Ministry said on its official website on Tuesday.


No other details are available at this point in time.

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Surgical Assistant Part of World's 1st Heart Transplant To Be Honored in SA

Surgical Assistant Part of World's 1st Heart Transplant To Be Honored in SA | Organ Donation & Transplant Matters Resources | Scoop.it
The city of Cape Town is set to honor Hamilton Naki, a Black South African surgical assistant involved in the world’s first heart transplant operation.

Although Hamilton had not undergone any formal surgical training, his skills were recognised by heart surgeon Christiaan Barnard. Hence Hamilton came to be an important member of the team that was carrying out some of the ground breaking research during this period in time.

For more on the story click on the banner headline.
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The Disputed Death of an 8-Year-Old Whose Organs Were Donated

The Disputed Death of an 8-Year-Old Whose Organs Were Donated | Organ Donation & Transplant Matters Resources | Scoop.it

A hospital in Los Angeles used a once-controversial but increasingly common donation procedure known as donation after circulatory death for a potential organ donor. Now this case is being re-examined by the police after a local corner filed a lawsuit over the case.


It is alleged that the donor may have been given an excessive dose of a pain killing medication to 'hasten his death' following withdrawal of life sustaining therapy. Of note the patient had already been declared to have sustained catastrophic brain damage from which he could not ever recover from, plus his family had agreed to withdrawal of life support along with the subsequent organ donation.


Now that the case is being subjected to a further investigation by the police, no other information is available at this time.


However comments from other professionals in this article do raise the question of whether the allegation of improper usage of pain medication reflects an accurate knowledge of the facts.

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Ministerio de Salud suspendió programa de trasplante renal in Venezuela

Ministerio de Salud suspendió programa de trasplante renal in Venezuela | Organ Donation & Transplant Matters Resources | Scoop.it

Ministerio de Salud suspendió programa de trasplante renal


It has been confirmed that the Ministry of Health in Venezuela has suspended deceased donor organ donation as well as renal transplantation effective the 1st of June 2017.


This follows on from months of critical shortages of pharmaceutical agents including in particular the immunosuppressive drugs Tacrolimus and Mycophenolate Mofetil which are two of the medications most commonly prescribed to transplant recipients.


This comes on top of an increasing number of reports of adverse health outcomes in Venezuela as the health care system struggles to deliver services in the face on increasing shortages of consumable items as well as medications.


The online article includes the forceful response from the Venezuelan society of Nephrology



Deborah Verran's insight:
Patients with end stage kidney disease in Venezuela are running out of options. Humanitarian assistance will be required to support the Venezuela healthcare system in the short to medium term.
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The Relationship Between Social Media and Organ Donation? It’s Complicated.

The Relationship Between Social Media and Organ Donation? It’s Complicated. | Organ Donation & Transplant Matters Resources | Scoop.it

Some surgeons worry that the ease of Facebook entreaties particularly to save the lives of some transplant recipients, might inspire potential organ donors to make their decisions too lightly.


As outlined in this article, one transplant center in the United States suddenly found themselves under enormous pressure to field hundreds of enquiries from potential organ donors. This occurred after a Facebook post that was made by the parent of a sick child went viral.


Apart from dealing with the actual volume of calls and other expressions of interest, the initial problem faced by the transplant center was how to come up with a short list of suitable potential donors. This was followed by how to deal with all of the other expressions of interest, for which one solution was to request that people make contact with other not for profit organizations/stakeholders on how best to proceed.

Deborah Verran's insight:
A good description of some of the issues that can arise if a social media campaign for a live organ donor goes viral.
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Sergio Canavero says the first head transplant patient will be a Chinese national, who will have surgery this year

Sergio Canavero says the first head transplant patient will be a Chinese national, who will have surgery this year | Organ Donation & Transplant Matters Resources | Scoop.it

Head transplantation continues to attract attention particularly via social media. This story has now been given more impetus with Dr Sergio Canavero the Italian neurosurgeon (pictured right), stating that the operation will take place in China within the next 10 months. This has also been aided by the reports of head transplantation being performed on rats-


http://www.independent.co.uk/news/science/scientists-china-full-head-transplant-rats-human-sergio-canavero-cns-neuroscience-therapeutics-a7711871.html


However Dr Canavero is now also claiming that there are plans to transplant cryogenically frozen brain tissue into patients as well. There is no evidence that this will work as some are pointing out in response to this claim-

https://joinfo.com/world/1029268_cryogenically-frozen-brains-will-be-woken-up-and-transplanted-in-donor-bodies-within-three-years-neurosurgeon-claims.html


Deborah Verran's insight:
This story keeps doing the rounds on social media and looks likely to keep going until the experimental head transplant procedure is performed in humans
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Govt moves towards a common organ donation registry, ZTCCs yet to comply in part of India

Govt moves towards a common organ donation registry, ZTCCs yet to comply in part of India | Organ Donation & Transplant Matters Resources | Scoop.it

There are plans now in one part of India for there to be a move towards a new regional organ donation system headquartered in Mumbai  overseen by ROTTO.  However the already established four Zonal Transplant Co-ordination Committees are yet to comply. The plan would be for ROTTO to then be linked to and report to the National Organ and Tissue Transplant Organization (NOTTO).


At the moment each region within India has different processes in place for organ donation and local organ donor registries (where they exist), are often not linked.  Hence there are times when despite the availability of organs, a suitable recipient is not found within the same region. This leads to the discarding of otherwise transplantable organs which is now seen as something which must be avoided. This is now becoming more important as more processes are put into place to lift the rates of organ donation across India.

Deborah Verran's insight:
Further evidence of new processes being established within India to help lift the rates of organ donation
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Busiest ever year for organ donation in Scotland

Busiest ever year for organ donation in Scotland | Organ Donation & Transplant Matters Resources | Scoop.it

In news from authorities in Scotland it has been confirmed that the organ donation rate has increased over the last year. 


With the figures for 2016/17 revealing a 34% increase in the number of organ donors in Scotland, this has led to a record number of organ transplants being performed.


One woman (Heather Marshall, pictured above) who was interviewed for this story, describes how undergoing a liver transplant has turned her life around.

Deborah Verran's insight:
Important news out of Scotland with the rate of organ donation now being close to the 25 per million mark
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IU Health’s new ‘Heart-in-a-Box’ keeping organs alive longer

IU Health’s new ‘Heart-in-a-Box’ keeping organs alive longer | Organ Donation & Transplant Matters Resources | Scoop.it

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. -- A new medical device is keeping hearts used in transplants alive longer. The device is called a "Heart-in-a-Box" and it's on clinical trial at IU Health Methodist Hospital.


This brief article highlights the fact that ex-vivo heart preservation is now being trialled within the United States with the IU Health Methodist Hospital being involved.


Further aata are awaited

Deborah Verran's insight:
Another ongoing trial of ex-vivo preservation technology
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Thomas Starzl, pioneering transplant surgeon, dies at 90

Thomas Starzl, pioneering transplant surgeon, dies at 90 | Organ Donation & Transplant Matters Resources | Scoop.it

Dr. Thomas E. Starzl  | 1926-2017: Dr. Starzl performed the world’s first liver transplant in Denver in 1963 along with the world's first successful liver transplant before moving to Pittsburgh. 


In this comprehensive online article insights are provided into the extraordinary drive and determination that Dr Starzl possessed which led to further developments in both liver and kidney transplantation, over the next 20-30 years.


Dr Starzl understood the importance of organ donation from deceased donors for the purpose of transplantation and how organ recovery of multiple organs from the same donor was also possible. In addition he was involved in undertaking trials of some of what were the then new immunosuppressive agents in transplant recipients.


One of the true pioneers in solid organ transplantation


Via Gilbert C FAURE
Deborah Verran's insight:
This article provides a glimpse of what was required to take liver transplantation from a concept through to being a clinical reality that is now established around the world.
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The truth about organ transport and transplantation in India

The truth about organ transport and transplantation in India | Organ Donation & Transplant Matters Resources | Scoop.it

There continues to be unmet challenges with respect to increasing the numbers of both organ donors as well as organ transplants in India. With there having been only 350 heart transplants conducted in the last 24 years in the country, there is room for improvement.


The current barriers to increasing the number of organ transplants includes the lack of established transplant units, lack of access due to financial restrictions for many patients and a lack of established transport systems ensuring the rapid delivery of organs between hospitals.


This article will be of interest to healthcare professionals who have an interest in organ donation as well as transplantation.

Deborah Verran's insight:
Increasing the numbers of organ donors as well as the numbers of organ transplants in India will require that concentrated efforts are made to deal with the current barriers.
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Vatican meeting calls organ trafficking a crime against humanity

Vatican meeting calls organ trafficking a crime against humanity | Organ Donation & Transplant Matters Resources | Scoop.it

After a conference on organ trafficking at the Vatican Feb. 7-8, participants signed a statement agreeing to unite in fighting the crime of organ trafficking – submitting 11 proposals for implementation by healthcare and law enforcement professionals around the world.


For more on this story along with the formal release including the 11 proposals click on the following link-

http://en.radiovaticana.va/news/2017/02/09/vatican_organ_trafficking_summit_issues_statement/1291387


Deborah Verran's insight:
The proposals will be of interest to professionals who have an interest in this subject
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Human-Animal Hybrid: Scientists Grow Human Cells Inside Pig Embryos

Human-Animal Hybrid: Scientists Grow Human Cells Inside Pig Embryos | Organ Donation & Transplant Matters Resources | Scoop.it

Scientists injected pig embryos with human stem cells to produce animal embryos that contain human cells. What are the dangers and potential benefits of this technology? This is explored in the full article which can be accessed via clicking on the banner headline.


This online article is the result of the publication of the findings of sophisticated laboratory research into the creation of embryos which contain cells from two different animals. In the research quoted above this involved placing genetically modified human stem cells into pig blastocysts (at the pre-embryo stage). Despite evidence of the human stem cells initially surviving there was limited evidence of them being present at the pig embryo stage as outlined in the full scientific report-


http://www.cell.com/cell/fulltext/S0092-8674(16)31752-4


Despite the headlines generated in some quarters by this particular research, this does not mean that the transplantation of organs from 'humanized pigs' is just around the corner as may have been implied.



Deborah Verran's insight:
This proof of concept study will now need to be followed by more sophisticated research in order to ascertain whether this will lead to so called humanized organs in pigs.
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Air-Powered Robotic Sleeve Wraps Around Your Heart To Keep It Pumping

Air-Powered Robotic Sleeve Wraps Around Your Heart To Keep It Pumping | Organ Donation & Transplant Matters Resources | Scoop.it
Researchers from Harvard University and Boston Children's Hospital have developed an innovative robotic sleeve that fits around the heart. As outlined in this online report  the device (pictured) has been successfully trialed in large animals and hence satisfies proof of concept criteria. However in order for the device to meet stringent regulatory standards prior to then being marketed it must now undergo prospective trials in humans.

One advantage of this particular device is that it wraps around the heart and hence is not in contact with circulating blood which can lead to other problems such as excessive clotting.

The relevant research article which has now been published in Science Translational Medicine can be accessed via the following link-

Deborah Verran's insight:
This is an interesting new type of cardiac assist device which now needs to be trialed in humans
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Sgt. Darrick Kepley makes emergency organ delivery after SUV crash

Sgt. Darrick Kepley makes emergency organ delivery after SUV crash | Organ Donation & Transplant Matters Resources | Scoop.it
While patrolling in a town in Pennsylvania’s Lancaster County in the snow last Saturday, Sgt. Darrick Kepley happened across a one-car crash

Inside the crashed vehicle were an organ retrieval team who were on their way back to their base hospital (the Thomas Jefferson in Philadelphia), including with a donor liver.

In order to prevent any further delays Sgt Kepley then transported the team to the hospital so that a liver transplant procedure could continue as scheduled.
Deborah Verran's insight:
Unforseen problems with the ground transportation of donor organs can lead to alternative measures having to be adopted at short notice
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