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Need for Organ Transplants Surges at Big Motorcycle Rallies: Study

Once a year, giant motorcycle rallies ride into places like Daytona Beach, Fla., and Sturgis, S.D., bringing hundreds of thousands of people, an economic boost -- and a wave of crash-related deaths.

That means more organs available for donation and the need to be prepared, according to a

  • Cara Murez HealthDay Reporter
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  • November 29, 2022
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  • 69 vs. 70: Bias Against Older Organ Donors May Be Costing Lives

    The difference between age 69 and age 70 is, of course, just a single year.

    Yet, organizations that receive organs for transplant patients are less likely to choose one from the older donor, a new study finds.

    American organ procurement organization...

    Heart's Electrical Signals Changed in First Pig-to-Human Cardiac Transplant

    Less than a year after the first-ever transplant of a pig heart into a human patient, doctors are reporting that the heart showed unexpected changes in its electrical system before the recipient ultimately died.

    The changes are not believed to have contributed to the patient's death. But experts said that the observation will help in preparing for any such transplants in the future.

    Hearts From Donors Who Had COVID Are Safe for Transplant

    A person with heart failure in dire need of a new heart may have faced delays in getting one during the pandemic when potential donors tested positive for COVID-19.

    As some centers began accepting these hearts for transplant anyway, data from a new study shows that...

    Some Donor Livers Keep Working for 100 Years: Study

    Some human livers are tougher than others, lasting more than 100 cumulative years between the organ's original host and a transplant recipient, a new study discovers.

    Understanding what makes these livers so resilient could help improve the donor pool by paving the way ...

    Scientists Create Synthetic Mouse Embryo With Brain, Beating Heart

    Using only mouse stem cells, British researchers report they have created synthetic embryos that form a brain, a beating heart and other organs.

    The stem cells organized themselves until they developed beating hearts and the foundations of the brain and yolk sacs where the embryo...

    Organ From Live Donor Best When Child Needs New Kidney

    Children who need kidney transplants have better long-term outcomes when the donor is a living person and not someone who has died and donated organs, a new study finds.

    "The findings of our study should lay to rest any fears and concerns that centers have about accepting organs from unrelate...

    Scientists Restore Some Function to Pig Tissues 1 Hour After Death

    Minutes after a heartbeat stops, a massive series of disastrous events triggered by lack of blood flow begins to destroy a body's cells and organs.

    This chain of events had been thought to be inevitable and irreversible. Now, a new animal study shows that

  • Dennis Thompson HealthDay Reporter
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  • August 3, 2022
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  • Pig Hearts Successfully Transplanted Into 2 Brain-Dead Patients

    Genetically altered pig hearts could soon become a viable transplantation alternative for people with life-threatening heart disease, new experiments show.

    A team at NYU Langone Health has successfully transplanted two such pig hearts into brain-dead humans on life support, making advances that may soon help address the nationwide organ shortage.

    No signs of early rejection were obs...

    Good Outcomes From First 5 Years of Uterus Transplants, But Concerns Remain

    For women who can't get pregnant because they don't have a uterus or the one they have no longer works properly, uterine transplants can indeed help these women become mothers, new research shows.

    Of 33 women who received a uterus transplant...

    Doctors Transplant Kidneys to Children Without Need for Immune-Suppressing Drugs

    Researchers have figured out a way to safely give children a donor kidney without the need for immune-suppressing drugs -- an advance they hope to expand to many more kidney transplant patients in coming year...

    Woman Receives 3-D Printed Ear Transplant Made of Human Cells

    A 3-D printed ear made with the patient's own cells has been transplanted onto a 20-year-old woman, the company that made the ear says.

    The achievement announced June 2 by 3DBio Therapeutics of New York City is believed to be the first known example of a 3-D printed implant made of living tissues. Experts hailed it as a major advance in...

    Kidney Transplant Safe When Organ Donor Has COVID: Study

    Even before the pandemic, the demand for donor kidneys far exceeded supply. That shortfall only worsened when hospitals started refusing to use kidneys from COVID-positive donors.

    However,

    Virus Found in Pig Heart Transplanted Into Man Who Later Died

    An investigation into the death of the first person to receive a heart transplant from a pig has discovered that the organ had an animal virus, but it's not clear if the virus was a factor in the patient's death, University of Maryland Medical Center doctors say.

    They found viral DNA inside the pig heart transplanted into 57-year-old David Bennett Sr., 57, who

  • By Robert Preidt and Robin Foster HealthDay Reporters
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  • May 6, 2022
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  • Thinking of Donating a Kidney? New Data Shows It's Safe

    If you're thinking about donating a kidney, new research could alleviate your concerns.

    "The results of this study are extremely reassuring for individuals who are considering being living kidney donors. We found that this lifesaving surgery, when performed at experienced transplant centers, is extremely safe," said study co-author Dr. Timucin Taner, chair of transplant surgery at Mayo Cl...

    How Too Much Drinking Harms the Liver

    As Americans stepped up their drinking during the COVID-19 pandemic, liver disease and transplants surged.

    Between March 2020 and January 2021, the number of U.S. patients with alcohol-associated liver disease who received a new liver or were wait-listed for a transplant was 50% higher than pre-pandemic projections, researchers say.

  • By Robert Preidt HealthDay Reporter
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  • April 16, 2022
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  • Organs Donated by People Who Had COVID Are Safe: Study

    For those waiting during the pandemic for a new kidney or liver, new research is reassuring: Organs from deceased donors who had COVID-19 did not cause infection in recipients and posed no risk to health care workers.

    In a study that began in September 2021, the Duke University School of Medicine team assessed

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  • March 23, 2022
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  • Man Who Received First Pig Heart Transplant Has Died

    The first person to receive a pig heart transplant in a groundbreaking procedure performed at the University of Maryland Medical Center in January has died, hospital officials said Wednesday.

    David Bennett, a 57-year-old Marylander, suffered from severe heart disease and had agreed to receive the experimental pig's heart after he was rejected from several waiting lists to receive a human ...

    Scientists Create 'Universal' Donor Organs Where Blood Type Doesn't Matter

    It's possible to create "universal" donor organs that would eliminate the need to match transplant donor and recipient blood types, researchers report.

    "With the current matching system, wait times can be considerably longer for patients who need a transplant depending on their blood type," said senior study author Dr. Marcelo Cypel, surgical director of the Ajmera Transplant Centre, Univ...

    Hospital Defends Decision to Deny Heart Transplant to Unvaccinated Man

    In response to claims that a man was denied a heart transplant because he refused to get vaccinated against COVID-19, Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston said Wednesday that its transplant policies mirror those used across the United States.

    In a crowdfunding appeal for 31-year-old D.J. Ferguson, a father of two, his family said the hospital told him he was ineligible to receive a new ...

    Almost 1 in 10 U.S. Lung Transplants Now Due to COVID

    COVID-19 is changing medicine in yet another way: A new study finds that patients with COVID-related lung damage now account for nearly one in 10 lung transplants in the United States.

    The researchers analyzed data on more than 3,000 lung transplants nationwide between Aug. 1, 2020, and Sept. 30, 2021. They found that 7% of them were performed to treat severe, irreversible lung damage cau...

    Doctors Transplant Gene-Modified Pig Kidneys Into Brain-Dead Patient

    In another breakthrough for animal-to-human organ transplantation, U.S. researchers say they've transplanted two genetically modified pig kidneys into a living human.

    The recipient was Jim Parsons, 57, a brain-dead man on life support whose family agreed to allow the surgical team at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) to use his body for this research.

    The kidneys functio...

    In Breakthrough Transplant, Man Receives Genetically Modified Pig Heart

    In a medical first, doctors from the University of Maryland have implanted the heart of a genetically modified pig in a 57-year-old man facing the final stages of heart disease.

    The surgical feat, known as

  • Robin Foster HealthDay Reporter
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  • January 11, 2022
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  • When Kidney Transplant Fails, Trying Again Is Best Option: Study

    You were lucky enough to receive a kidney years ago, but now it is failing. Is it better to opt for another transplant or go on dialysis?

    New research suggests a second transplant may be the better option.

    Kidney transplants from deceased donors function for a median ...

    Heart Transplant Successful in Young Man Who Survived Severe COVID-19

    After nearly dying from a severe case of COVID-19, a young male patient received a successful heart transplant even as he was recuperating from his infection while on a ventilator, a new case study reports.

    The transplant was performed on the 31-year-old patient at the Hospital Israelita Albert Einstein in Sao Paulo, Brazil, in May.

    It's one of the first cases of its kind in the wor...

    With Holidays Ahead, COVID Boosters a Must for People With Weak Immune Systems

    If you're a patient with a weakened immune system, roll up your sleeves to stay safe over the holidays and winter months.

    "Immunocompromised patients absolutely should get a flu shot as well as an additional COVID-19 vaccine dose," said Dr. Marwa Kaisey, a neuroimmunologist and assistant professor of neurology at Cedars-Sinai in Los Angeles.

    "Otherwise, they are more likely to have ...

    People on Immune-Suppressing Meds Fare Equally Well With Severe COVID

    Hospitalized COVID-19 patients who take medications that suppress the immune system don't have a higher risk of severe COVID-19 than those with normal immune systems, a new study finds.

    Early in the pandemic, it was feared that people taking immunosuppressive drugs were at increased risk of severe COVID-19 due to their weakened immune systems. The drugs are used to treat cancer and autoim...

    Demand for Liver Transplant Rises Sharply Among Older Americans

    More older folks are winding up on liver transplant waiting lists than ever before, as obesity and alcoholism supersede hepatitis C as the main cause of liver failure in the United States.

    The percentage of liver transplant candidates aged 65 or older rose from 9% in the early 2000s to 23% by 2020, researchers found. Most seniors' liver failure is due to fatty liver disease, in which exce...

    More Evidence COVID Shots Less Effective for People With Weak Immune Systems

    Transplant patients and certain other folks may need four shots of COVID-19 vaccine for optimal protection, new research suggests.

    People with weakened immune systems who've received both doses of two-dose COVID-19 vaccines aren't adequately protected against severe illness. They should be given a third shot plus a booster, according to the study.

    "These findings indicate that while...

    Many Blood Cancer Patients Get Little Protection From COVID Vaccine

    Anti-vaxxers felt their suspicions confirmed when former U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell died from COVID-19 complications in mid-October despite being fully vaccinated.

    But Powell, 84, was being treated for blood cancer at the time of his death, and a new study reports that the COVID vaccines are producing little to no protection for some cancer patients.

    Nearly 3 out of 5 bloo...

    Doctors Report That Kidney Grown in Pig Worked in a Human

    A kidney grown in a genetically altered pig functioned normally after being attached to a human patient during a groundbreaking procedure performed by U.S. doctors.

    If the technique proves generally successful it could revolutionize organ transplant, greatly expanding the pool of available organs.

    The surgery was conducted in September at NYU Langone Health in New York ...

    AHA News: Women May Be More Willing Than Men to Donate Organs

    Men and women have similar reasons for becoming -- or not becoming -- an organ donor, according to a new study. Yet women appear more willing to donate their organs to family members or strangers.

    The results, published Sept. 24 in the Journal of the American Heart Association, suggest improving communication among family members about organ donation wishes could help increase ...

    Kidney Damage Another Consequence of 'Long COVID,' Study Finds

    People hospitalized for COVID-19, and even some with milder cases, may suffer lasting damage to their kidneys, new research finds.

    The study of more than 1.7 million patients in the U.S. Veterans Affairs system adds to concerns about the lingering effects of COVID -- particularly among people sick enough to need hospitalization.

    Researchers found that months after their initial infe...

    U.S. Kidney Transplant Outcomes Are Improving

    Here's some hopeful news for those who have kidney transplants: Long-term survival rates have improved over the past three decades, a review shows.

    "There has been a gratifying improvement in kidney transplant survival, both for patients and the kidney graft itself, from 1996 to the current era," said review author Dr. Sundaram Hariharan, a senior transplant nephrologist at the University...

    FDA OKs Third COVID Shot for Vulnerable Americans

    The U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Thursday authorized a third "booster" shot of coronavirus vaccines for people with weakened immune systems, as the highly contagious Delta variant continues to surge across the country.

    Expanding the emergency use of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines should help protect those patients who are considered most vulnerable to COVID-19 infection. The auth...

    Need a New Liver? Your Survival Odds May Depend on Race

    Black American liver transplant recipients have a lower survival rate than Hispanic or white patients, and a new study suggests that alcohol-related liver disease and insurance coverage are key reasons.

    "Our findings are a huge wake-up call that physicians and other health care professionals need to do better in delivering equitable care," said study leader Dr. Brian Lee, a liver transpla...

    FDA to OK COVID Booster Shots for Vulnerable Americans

    The U.S. Food and Drug Administration plans on Thursday to authorize a third "booster" shot of coronavirus vaccine for people with weakened immune systems, as the highly contagious Delta variant surges across the country.

    Expanding the emergency use of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines should help protect those patients who are considered most vulnerable to COVID-19 infection and most likel...

    Third Vaccine Dose Can Help Shield Transplant Patients From COVID

    A third dose of a two-shot COVID vaccine significantly boosts transplant patients' protection against SARS-CoV-2, according to a new study.

    "We knew from previous studies that two doses were not enough to produce a good immune response against COVID-19 in transplant patients," said study co-senior author Dr. Deepali Kumar. She is director of transplant infectious diseases at the Universit...

    Hearts From Drug Abusers Can Be Used for Transplants

    In a finding that could mean more patients desperate for a heart transplant get a new lease on life, two new studies show that hearts from donors who abused drugs can be safely donated.

    In the past two decades, the U.S. opioid crisis has taken the lives of hundreds of thousands of Americans -- often young, otherwise healthy people. One result is that a rising percentage of potential donor...

    CDC Advisors to Discuss 3rd COVID Vaccine Dose for Immunocompromised

    Giving a third dose of COVID-19 vaccines to adults with weakened immune systems -- the immunocompromised -- will be up for discussion during a U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advisory panel meeting next week.

    At the meeting scheduled for July 22, the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices will focus on the 2% to 4% of U.S. adults with weakened immune systems. These i...

    Immunocompromised? Why the COVID-19 Vaccine Might Still Protect You

    COVID-19 vaccinations may not offer as much protection to people with compromised immune systems, but just how much appears to be driven by the type of underlying condition, new research suggests.

    "People with conditions that compromise their immune systems exhibit a wide spectrum of antibody responses to COVID-19 vaccination, ranging from only 1 in 5 lung transplant patients having an a...

    CRISPR Therapy Fights Rare Disease Where Protein Clogs Organs

    Early research suggests that CRISPR gene-editing technology may some day lead to dramatic relief for patients struggling with amyloidosis, a rare but serious disease that can trigger organ failure.

    "There are many different types of amyloidosis," explained study author Dr. Julian Gillmore, a researcher in medicine with the Centre for Amyloidosis and Acute Phase Proteins at University Coll...

    Liver Cirrhosis Much More Deadly for Black Americans

    Black Americans with cirrhosis -- late-stage liver disease -- are much less likely to receive a liver transplant and more likely to die than white patients, new research reveals.

    For the study, researchers at Northwestern Medicine analyzed data from all cirrhosis patients, regardless of transplant eligibility, at seven large liver centers in Chicago.

    Compared to white patients...

    Innovative Kidney Donor 'Voucher' System Is Saving Lives

    In the world of chronic kidney disease, the dilemma is not uncommon: A relatively young patient with kidney trouble may need a transplant down the road, and an older family member is more than ready to step up. But the need for a kidney transplant, while predictable, is not immediate.

    So the older donor doesn't act. Given that donor supply has never met demand, the loss of a golden opport...

    Many 'High Priority' Patients Aren't Getting Put on Kidney Transplant Lists

    Many Americans who stand to benefit most from a kidney transplant may be missing a key window of opportunity, a new study finds.

    The study focused on kidney failure patients who would be expected to live many years after receiving a kidney transplant. That generally includes relatively younger people without other major medical conditions.

    In 2014, the U.S. kidney allocation system ...

    Red Cross Warns of Severe Blood Shortage

    There's a severe blood shortage in the United States due to a recent surge in trauma cases, organ transplants and elective surgeries, the American Red Cross says.

    The Red Cross is appealing to Americans to roll up their sleeves and donate blood immediately.

    "Our teams are working around the clock to meet the extraordinary blood needs of hospitals and patients -- distributing about 7...

    Third Dose of COVID Vaccine Boosts Protection in Transplant Recipients

    Researchers say an extra dose of two-dose COVID-19 vaccines may improve immune system protection for organ transplant patients, a group that's so far responded poorly to two-dose vaccines.

    "Our findings suggest clinical trials are warranted to determine if transplant recipients should receive COVID-19 vaccine booster doses as standard clinical practice, similar to what is currently done w...

    COVID Antibody Treatment Is Safe, Effective in Transplant Patients

    Antibody treatments are safe and effective for transplant patients with mild to moderate COVID-19, a new study shows.

    Monoclonal antibodies help prevent the SARS-CoV-2 virus from attaching to cells, which helps block the spread of infection.

    The findings are important, researchers said, because transplant patients with COVID are more likely to be severely ill or die.

    "Monoclon...

    Old Age No Bar to Successful Heart Transplant, Study Finds

    People over 70 are far less likely to be considered for or to receive a new heart -- even though new research suggests their survival rates after transplant are similar to those of younger patients.

    For the study, the researchers analyzed data on more than 57,000 adults (aged 18 and older) listed as heart transplant surgery candidates in the United States between January 2000 and August 2...

    'Breakthrough' COVID Infections May Be Common in Vaccinated Transplant Patients

    New research suggests that many people who've undergone an organ transplant do not get an immune response from COVID-19 vaccines that's strong enough to ward off a "breakthrough" infection.

    In a new review of 14 such cases, these breakthrough COVID-19 infections occurred in 10 recipients of new kidneys, two liver recipients, one lung recipient and one heart recipient, said a research team...