Living Donor Misinformation

And the Surgeons Perpetuate Living Donor Misinformation

Dr. Balisteri of Cincinnatti (his positions are at the link) says:

This question may have been prompted by the recent publicity about the death of a man in Colorado after donating part of his liver to his brother. Subsequently, all live donor liver transplants were temporarily suspended at that hospital. If the death is ultimately attributed to the procedure it would be the fourth such death in the United States, according to the United Network of Organ Sharing (UNOS) and the second such death this year.

First of all, it’s OPTN and not UNOS. UNOS is simply the contractor; OPTN is the federal agency in charge of collecting all the data. Sheesh – you’d think the Medical Director of a Liver Transplant Program would understand the difference.

But more so, he’s just flat wrong. As I wrote about here, a 2002 article claimed seven living liver donor deaths in the US. And I as discuss here, a 2006 review of living liver donor literature counted 19 deaths and 1 chronic vegetative state. Of those, 13 were “definitely” the result of the procedure.

Dr. Balisteri’s article appeared on Medscape, a highly respected website. If they can’t be trusted, who can?

2 replies on “And the Surgeons Perpetuate Living Donor Misinformation”

I see that you chose not to approve the last comment I left you (which, regardless of how you saw it, was a friendly criticism aimed at bettering your discourse) and changed the "Post a Comment" text to no longer read you welcome open discourse, but rather that you frown upon "Anonymous" posts. There are different reasons people wish to remain anonymous, and a valid criticism is a valid criticism regardless of where it comes from. Because I did not know how you would handle criticism, I chose to remain anonymous, and I now see you do not like criticism, even if it is mostly for clarification and attempting to help. Good luck.

If I can put my views out there, so can you. If you don't wish to comment publicly, you have the option of sending me an email and engaging me in conversation.

The Minnesota study is highly flawed, which you'd know if you chose to read a bit more carefully. It has been criticized by members of OPTN, physicians, nurses and living donor advocates.

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