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Transplant Proc. 2008 Jan-Feb;40(1):34-8. doi: 10.1016/j.transproceed.2007.11.067.

Organ shortage crisis: problems and possible solutions.

Author information

  • Drexel University, College of Medicine, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA. gmabouna@comcast.net

Abstract

The demand for organ transplantation has rapidly increased all over the world during the past decade due to the increased incidence of vital organ failure, the rising success and greater improvement in posttransplant outcome. However, the unavailability of adequate organs for transplantation to meet the existing demand has resulted in major organ shortage crises. As a result there has been a major increase in the number of patients on transplant waiting lists as well as in the number of patients dying while on the waiting list. In the United States, for example, the number of patients on the waiting list in the year 2006 had risen to over 95,000, while the number of patient deaths was over 6,300. This organ shortage crisis has deprived thousands of patients of a new and better quality of life and has caused a substantial increase in the cost of alternative medical care such as dialysis. There are several procedures and pathways which have been shown to provide practical and effective solutions to this crisis. These include implementation of appropriate educational programs for the public and hospital staff regarding the need and benefits of organ donation, the appropriate utilization of marginal (extended criteria donors), acceptance of paired organ donation, the acceptance of the concept of "presumed consent," implementation of a system of "rewarded gifting" for the family of the diseased donor and also for the living donor, developing an altruistic system of donation from a living donor to an unknown recipient, and accepting the concept of a controlled system of financial payment for the donor. As is outlined in this presentation, we strongly believe that the implementation of these pathways for obtaining organs from the living and the dead donors, with appropriate consideration of the ethical, religious and social criteria of the society, the organ shortage crisis will be eliminated and many lives will be saved through the process of organ donation and transplantation.

PMID:
18261540
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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