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May 2006

Meeting the Need for Transplantable Organs Through the US Donation System

Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 2006;160(5):548a-550. doi:10.1001/archpedi.160.5.548-b

Bratton et al1 report some of the recent approaches being used to improve donor organ availability. Although their focus was pediatric patients, they point out that the problem has risen to crisis proportions for children and adults alike. Certainly, the donor shortage has become one of the most pressing problems facing the field of transplantation on many levels. Improved results have established transplantation as the preferred treatment for many forms of organ failure, leading to the tremendous growth in transplant waiting lists. This growth contrasts dramatically with only modest increases in the number of available transplantable organs.2 This frustrating reality challenges patients, their families, and caregivers alike as the promise of transplantation cannot be delivered with increasing frequency. Instead of transplantation, candidates must endure long waiting times, often leading to medical deterioration and sometimes death, never having had the opportunity to receive a needed organ.

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