I'm relatively new to posting here. Have been a lurker for a few months just doing a lot reading. The knowledge and support here is incredible.
Has anyone who is currently on the wait list for a liver transplant or who has undergone a liver transplant had a liver offer that cam from a high risk donor.
The OPTN (organization governing transplants in the US) has a list of what it considers "high risk" donors:
- History of drug use In past 5 years
- History of risky sexual behavior In past 5 years
- Prison inmates
- Had sex for money or drugs
- Whatever else I'm forgetting
I also plan to ask if the donor donated after cardiac arrest (DCD) or donated after brain death (DBD). DCD I probably won't accept. I'll also ask the age of the donor (under 50 I will definitely accept, 50-59 not sure if I'll accept and over 60 I won't accept the liver). These two conditions don't have the risk of transmitting disease like high risk donors, but DCD/advanced age livers generally are less successful transplanted and not likely to last as long. The "gold standard" Standard-Criteria Donor (SCD) is a 35-yr-old man who has no history of hypertension or diabetes and for whom the cause of death is a motor vehicle accident. I'm am 5'9"/150 lbs male and being so small framed I am more likely to get a young person's liver which would be great.
Has anyone been offered a high risk organ ( suppose it's much the same for all organs)? If so, did you accept it? Did you have any criteria about which individual high risk activities you would/would not accept? I directed this at liver transplant patients, but any thoughts are appreciated. The transplant center I'm using does additional DNA/RNA testing for disease so the window for infection becomes even smaller...they wouldn't find disease that the donor didn't acquire 5 days before donating (and I guess I should make clear I am only talking about non-living donor livers). Transplant doc says that they see this happen in only .2% to .3% of transplanted livers. It just seems to me that there may be some individual risks I would accept and others I wouldn't. Of course someone with a much higher MELD doesn't really have the luxury of not accepting any liver offered. And I know with the craziness of liver disease that I could very quickly get worse and be in the same position so I have to take that into account as well.
I'm not in terrible shape (MELD of 20)...have the standard ascites, portal vein, varices, slight HE, muscle wasting, etc. And I'm lucky to live in one of the regions/states in the US with the fastest wait list average.
It's just all very confusing.Especially with doctor saying "get your answer ready now so u'll know when/if/u r called." Understandably, the nurse calling doesn't have an hour to wait for an answer while my wife and I decide.
So ANY input into this by anyone might help me clarify things.