US transplant group makes it easier for children to get lungs from older donors

BMJ 2013; 346 doi: (Published 12 June 2013) Cite this as: BMJ 2013;346:f3832
  1. Michael McCarthy
  1. 1Seattle

The organization that administers organ transplantation in the United States has made it easier for pediatric patients needing a lung transplant to obtain organs from adolescent and adult donors, while it reviews its existing policies.

The decision of the executive committee of the Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network (OPTN) came in response to a public furor over the cases of two children who, though near death, had little chance of obtaining a transplant under the existing rules.

Sarah Murnaghan, 10, of Newtown Square, Pennsylvania, and Javier Acosta, 11, of New York City, were both severely ill from cystic fibrosis.

The cases prompted a lawsuit and calls from Congress and the health and human services secretary, …

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