Intended for healthcare professionals


A fair way of donating hearts for transplantation

BMJ 2000; 321 doi: (Published 02 September 2000) Cite this as: BMJ 2000;321:526

Survival rates improve only in patients with the worst heart failure

  1. Sharon Hunt, professor of cardiovascular medicine
  1. Department of Cardiovascular Medicine, Stanford University, Stanford, CA 94305, USA

    Papers p 540

    In the early years after the introduction of heart transplantation the supply of donor hearts increased yearly as greater numbers of transplant centres came into existence and more patients with end stage heart disease were listed as transplant candidates. This parallel expansion of both donor and recipient numbers ceased around 1990, and since then the number of cardiac donors has plateaued at about 3500 a year worldwide while the number of patients listed to receive a heart transplant increases annually. 1 2 This increase in the number of patients waiting for a heart transplant has occurred despite major improvements in medical treatment for heart failure that have been introduced during this time.

    This probably reflects the fact that most of the advances in the treatment of heart …

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