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May 27, 1992

Organ Transplants: A Patient's Guide

Author Affiliations

St Luke's-Roosevelt Hospital Center New York, NY

JAMA. 1992;267(20):2817. doi:10.1001/jama.1992.03480200125037

As the title indicates, H. F. Pizer has enlisted the experiences of the physicians and patients at the Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH), a pioneering transplant hospital, to compile a true patient's guide. After a brief introductory chapter by Paul Russell, one of the original transplant immunologist-surgeons, the history of transplantation is both eloquently and succinctly presented. Throughout, the authors, all prestigious members of the team, remain unidentified.

The problems faced by the patient dying of end-stage organ failure, some of the solutions already found by the transplant community, and unsolved problems are addressed in successive chapters. The well-established United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS) is discussed in detail, including the critical shortage of organ donors as the primary limiting factor in achieving a successful transplantation for those many who do not live long enough to receive "the gift of life."

Subsequent chapters deal with the immune barrier, the second limiting