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Improved procurement could more than double availability of life-saving transplant organs

0 percent, with an average rate of about 34 percent. In other words, the country's medical industry is using only one third of the potential donors.

Even with 100 percent OPO efficiency, Guadagnoli says, there still would not be enough potential donors to supply the current demand for organs.

"There are simply not enough. We figure there are about 17,000 potential donors a year, but the current need is too great. Every year, the number of people waiting increases," Guadagnoli says.

On September 9 and 10, HHS led the first of three seminars focused on increasing the number of actual donors. HHS Secretary Tommy Thompson is calling for OPOs to increase their efficiency to 75 percent, a goal that Guadagnoli says is high, but may be possible.

Other organ sources include living donors and xenotransplantation--the transplantation of an animal organ into a human. Yet cadaveric donations still provide almost 75 percent of transplanted organs. Guadagnoli says there is nothing on the medical horizon that can replace or significantly supplement this organ source.

Principal InvestigatorBiosketch

Edward Guadagnoli, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Health Care Policy
Department of Health Care Policy
Harvard Medical School.

Edward Guadagnoli, Ph.D. is an Associate Professor of Health Care Policy in the Department of Health Care Policy at Harvard Medical School. He is also an Assistant Epidemiologist in the Department of Medicine at Brigham and Women's Hospital.

Dr. Guadagnoli's research focuses on evaluating the quality and outcomes of health care, examining access to health care, and evaluating health care interventions. His work in the area of cancer care has touched on all of these topics. He has studied the quality of and access to cancer care in various regions of the United States and he has led an evaluation of an intervention to improve discussion of treatment options between patients and
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Contact: John Lacey
public_affairs@hms.harvard.edu
617-432-0442
Harvard Medical School
25-Sep-2003


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