Cedars-Sinai's live donor liver transplant program receives 'unos-approved' designation

LOS ANGELES (July 7, 2005) Because need far outweighs the availability of organs for transplantation, transplant specialists are increasingly utilizing adult-to-adult living donor liver transplantation, but the procedure includes significant risks to the healthy donor.

Now, to support quality assurance standards nationwide, the United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS) the organization that administers the nation's policies on organ transplantation offers institutions the opportunity to qualify as UNOS-approved live donor liver transplant centers, and Cedars-Sinai's program has become the first to receive this designation. Living donor liver transplantation has been available at Cedars-Sinai since 1999.

The UNOS application process explores the depth and breadth of a transplant program, requiring documentation about the program's history and patient outcomes as well as details of the transplant team, including administrative support, financial counselors, clinical transplant coordinators, data coordinators, social workers, and medical and surgical staff.

"In the United States, more than 18,000 patients are currently on liver transplant waiting lists while only about 5,000 deceased donor organs become available each year. More patients are dying each year while waiting, and many thousands of others are experiencing a decline in their quality of life," said Andrew S. Klein, M.D., director of the Comprehensive Transplant Center at Cedars-Sinai who has held a number of prominent positions with UNOS, currently serving as secretary on the organization's board and chair of the Living Donor Transplant Committee. Klein recently was elected to the governing board of the American Association for the Study of Liver Disease (AASLD).

"Living donor liver transplantation should be thought of as an option that is appropriate for only some patients, and it is certainly not the answer to the organ shortage," said Steven D. Colquhoun, M.D., director o

Contact: Sandy Van
Cedars-Sinai Medical Center

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