Deceased Organ Donation Organ Allocation Transplant Wait List Uncategorized

Non US Citizens, the Wait List and Transplants in the US, part I

Yesterday I was alerted to an OPTN proposed policy regarding resident and non-resident aliens, and this morning the NY Times ran a sob story on one undocumented resident (aka illegal) who needs a kidney transplant but can’t get one cuz Medicare/Medicaid won’t pay (and he doesn’t have private insurance or the means to foot the bill himself).

Wouldn’t you know that last night I came into the possession of official OPTN data from January 1, 2000 through January 31, 2011 regarding this very topic??

Demographics of those who received deceased donor transplants during that time:

216,497 US citizens (77 status unknown, btw)
6673 Resident aliens (non-citizens, but US is the primary residence)
1808 Non-resident aliens

While 1808 isn’t a huge number, all things considered, it’s still 1808 American citizens/residents that were denied an organ during that time.

211 hearts (this number remained fairly stable each year)
4 heart-lung
692 kidneys (varied from 42-86 per year)
35 kidney-pancreas
695 livers
68 lungs (increased steadily since 2000)
69 intestines

Where were these non-resident transplants taking place?

You’ll have to tune in tomorrow to find out….

Oh yeah, one of OPTN’s current proposed policies up for public comment is about this very thing, so you might want to check it out.

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