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?