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Researchers investigate ways to improve transplant outcomes
Medical News Today
There are 107,653 people awaiting a kidney transplant in the U.S., while 16,420 await a liver transplant. Although the waiting lists are long, healthcare professionals face the difficult task of ensuring organ donations are suitable in order to maximize longevity and health of patients, as well as ensuring transplant procedures do not affect the quality of the organs. Three new studies investigate ways in which such processes can be improved.
Technological advancements extend survival of transplanted hearts across species
Cardiac transplantation is the treatment of choice for end stage heart failure. According to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute of the National Institutes of Health, approximately 3,000 people in the U.S. are on the waiting list for a heart transplant, while only 2,000 donor hearts become available each year. Therefore for the cardiac patients currently waiting for organs, mechanical assist devices are the only options available. These devices, however, are not perfect and have issues with power supplies, infection and both clotting and hemolysis.
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Research: Animals could become human organ donors some day
Advances in transplant technology could pave the way for the use of animal organs in people some day which could help solve the problem of the donor organ shortage, researchers say.
In a new study, scientists transplanted hearts from genetically engineered pigs into baboons whose immune systems had been suppressed, to prevent them from rejecting the transplants.
Report: Ontario falling short on organ donations from deceased patients
The Globe and Mail
Ontario hospitals are transplanting organs from only about half of the deceased patients who would be medically eligible to donate, according to a report that reveals for the first time how individual hospitals are contributing to the province's organ-donation rate.
New figures released by Trillium Gift of Life Network, which co-ordinates deceased donations in the province, show that Ontario hospitals managed to "convert" 52 percent of potential donors into actual donors between April and December of last year, short of the provincewide goal of 63 percent.
Patients bond as they await life-saving organ transplants in Pittsburgh
New York Daily News
In her eight-month wait for a lung donor, Tricia Moses joined the unique community of people seeking transplants in Pittsburgh.
More than 1,250 patients live near the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, their fragile lives in limbo as they await a life-saving match with an organ donor.
They get to know one another, offering support through the roller-coaster process of illness and waiting, sudden surgery, and, if the operation succeeds, the slow return to normalcy.
"It's like a big family. You build that strong bond," said Moses, 39. "It's a friendship that stays with you forever. It's a whole new life."
From hand-washing to hand hygiene
There has been an emphasis on the importance of proper hand-washing for healthcare providers since the Nightingale era. As recently as the middle of the 20th century, however, proper hand-washing often entailed little more than the use of a water basin outside the room of a patient who was on isolation precautions.
Geraldine Hannon, RN, MEd remembers taking care of a teenager with meningitis in such a room when she was a student in a large city hospital. She can still remember washing her hands in the basin outside the door when the parents arrived to see their child.
First-in-human study of the safety and efficacy of TOL101 induction to prevent kidney transplant rejection
American Journal of Transplantation
TOL101 is a murine IgM mAb targeting the αβ TCR. Unlike other T cell targets, the αβ TCR has no known intracellular signaling domains and may provide a nonmitogenic target for T cell inactivation. Authors report the 6-month Phase 2 trial data testing TOL101 in kidney transplantation. The study was designed to identify a dose that resulted in significant CD3 T cell modulation (<25 T cell/mm3), to examine the safety and tolerability of TOL101 and to obtain preliminary efficacy information.
Doctors: Face transplants should be offered to more patients
Face transplants promise dramatic results for people left disfigured after animal attacks, fires, shootings and other grisly incidents, researchers say.
But the procedure is still in its infancy. It can cost well over $300,000 and is not covered by insurance companies. The surgery raises ethical dilemmas, too, because it's not life-saving like a liver transplant. Just 28 known full or partial face transplants have been performed worldwide since 2005, when doctors restored a French woman's nose and lips that had been chewed off by her pet Labrador.
In a new review of those 28 cases, a group of plastic and reconstructive surgeons says face transplants should be offered to more patients, as long as they meet certain criteria, because the operation is relatively safe and increasingly feasible.
Diarrhea caused by viruses in transplant recipients
Transplant Infectious Disease
Diarrhea is a common complication after solid organ transplantation, and viruses are emerging as important but underestimated causative agents. Viral infections in solid organ transplant recipients can result in severe and prolonged diarrhea with significant patient morbidity and graft complications. Cytomegalovirus remains the most common of the viruses to cause diarrhea, but other viruses are being increasingly recognized, including norovirus, rotavirus and adenovirus. This article reviews the epidemiology, clinical presentation, diagnosis, management and outcomes of these viral causes of diarrhea in SOT patients.
Missed last week's issue? See which articles your colleagues read most.
Ascites, sodium level increased mortality for children awaiting liver transplantation
The presence of ascites and serum sodium variables among pediatric cirrhotic patients reduced survival rates within 90 days after inclusion on a liver transplantation wait list, according to recent study results. Researchers analyzed 522 patients with cirrhosis on a liver transplant wait list between October 2000 and February 2012. Sixty-six percent of patients were aged younger than 12 months, and 40 percent of the entire cohort showed ascites. Seventy-nine percent of patients with hyponatremia presented ascites.
Acute rejection linked to ketoconazole
Renal & Urology News
Using ketoconazole in combination with tacrolimus in kidney transplant patients may increase their risk of acute rejection, according to findings presented at the National Kidney Foundation's 2014 Spring Clinical Meetings in Las Vegas.
Nursing careers: Building a robust professional network
By Keith Carlson
Whether you're a satisfied nurse or a nurse who's totally burned out and ready for change, there's no time like the present to develop and maintain a robust professional network. Some of us hear the word "networking" and run screaming in the opposite direction, while others are ready to do the work of forging long-term, meaningful professional connections. Either way, there's no denying that having your own network of fellow professionals to whom you can reach out is a practice worth pursuing throughout your career.
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