Patients with type O blood face longest wait in getting new organs

Tuesday, June 13th 2000, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

(Washington-AP) -- In a medical irony, Americans with blood type O -- universal donors -- are the least likely to receive a new
liver, heart or lung.

The United Network for Organ Sharing says that's because organs from type O people are transplanted into patients with all sorts of
blood types, extending the wait for type O patients who can use only organs of the same type.

As a result, very sick liver patients with blood type O are one and a-half times more likely to die waiting for a transplant than similar patients with other blood types.

Hoping to correct the disparity, the network is considering new restrictions on the use of type O organs. The new proposal would affect liver transplants, raising the bar for how sick non-O
patients must be before they are offered type O livers.

On the Net: The United Network for Organ Sharing: