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February 2018

Imminent Death Liver Donation for Children: Potential to Meet an Unmet Need

Author Affiliations
  • 1Division of Abdominal Transplantation, Michael E. DeBakey Department of Surgery, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, Texas
  • 2Center for Medical Ethics and Health Policy, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, Texas
  • 3Texas Children's Hospital, Houston
JAMA Surg. 2018;153(2):103-104. doi:10.1001/jamasurg.2017.3793

Pediatric liver transplantation is one of the great feats of modern medicine. It has evolved from an experiment bordering on futility into a standard of care with 1-year survival outcomes approaching 95%. Transplant allografts have proven to be incredibly durable; after more than 30 years of follow-up, we have not yet reached the median survival in pediatric liver transplantation.1 Since 1988, a total of 15 805 children (<18 years) have successfully undergone lifesaving liver transplants in the United States,2 and the number continues to grow.

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