Date: June 7, 2013
For patients waiting for a kidney, it’s an agonizing decision: Accept a deceased-donor kidney now, though it may be infected with hepatitis C, or wait for a healthier one in the future?
It’s now much easier to make a well-informed decision, thanks to a free new Web-based tool developed by Hopkins researchers, who recently published a study showing there are some types of patients for whom survival benefit outweighs the risks of accepting a possibly infected organ.
"Because the supply of the healthiest donor organs is too small, patients need to consider all organ offers or risk dying while waiting for an organ. But this is a very hard decision, and many people turn down transplant offers that, in reality, would provide them significant benefit. Often they would have done much better taking the organ at hand than waiting for the next available one,” says Dorry L. Segev, an associate professor of surgery at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine and a developer of the Web-based mathematical model.
“This is the most important decision of a transplant candidate’s life, and we have developed a novel tool we believe can help patients make the best choice.”