The United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS) has another plan for reallocating donor livers across the United States. Currently, the country is divided into 11 regions where roughly 16,000 people need a life saving liver transplant but annually only 7,000 donor livers become available. Under the new plan, patients listed at a transplant center within 150 nautical mile radius of where a liver is donated would have access to that donor liver regardless of whether they live in that region. Critics say the new plan will result in fewer organ transplants overall as donor livers will fly from high donation areas to areas with poor donation rates. A recent study by an Emory University transplant surgeon in Atlanta shows the flow of livers will actually shift from less affluent, rural areas to more affluent, urban cities. Doctors at The University of Kansas Health System say the plan will result in fewer transplants here in Kansas City, too, as well as drive up transplantation costs and put both patients and donor livers at higher risk.
In the video, Sean Kumer, MD, PhD, Physician Vice President, Operative Services, explains more of why the 150-mile radius plan should be set aside and UNOS continue to work on organ donor awareness and increasing donation rates across the country. UNOS wants to hear from the public on the latest allocation plan, but the deadline is October 2. Go now to http://bit.ly/JoinLiverConversationor https://optn.transplant.hrsa.gov/governance/public-comment/enhancing-liver-distribution/ to comment.