Transplant Tales: to China and back

Friday, May 12, 2006

58 A.T.
Current events yet show another reason Americans turn to transplants abroad. Kaiser Permanente in San Francisco is now under investigation, for the foul up of their Kidney transplant program. For anyone who is familiar with the HMO, you know that they stand firm on what they outsourcing and do themselves. They publicly apologized for the current situation and stated, if there where any Kidney Transplant patients that preferred to go through a different transplant center. Kaiser would authorize and pay for that treatment. Reports show only 26 kidney transplants were performed in 2005 at Kaiser San Francisco. That's about 2 a month. Meanwhile over 50 Kaiser members died waiting.

What is wrong with that picture. We are Kaiser members an are all to familiar with their internal bureaucracy. They preach preventive medicine. However, what they say and do are very different.

This leads me to my point. If we are faced with these kind of failures in American Health care. How could anyone be blamed for looking else where for saving their life.

My husband an I spoke to Cathy with in hopes of organizing a donor drive. We are working on a Ride for Life to attracted and sign up motorcycle riders of all ages. We are aiming for the 3rd or 4th weekend in August. Cathy shared with much surprise to us that the standard practice here in the states is that donated organs are only from loved ones that are brain dead. You would think that if someone is declared dead at the seen of an accident, that the individual would be considered a potential organ donor. Wrong! Apparently if the blood and oxygen has stopped flowing, under current practices they are dismissed as a possible donor. Well that definitely gives a broader picture on why we have a lack of organs.
Why does it matter if the oxygen or blood flow stop? When the organ is removed from the body and transported to the transplant center for transplant there is no flow then either. Are you a DONOR?

Anderson Cooper 360 a show on CNN will be here at the house today. Maybe they can help us find these answers.

Stay tuned for more.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Best wishes and thanks for giving info on the donate/transplant process.
Four more bits of information.
1). Some transplant centers such as at Indiana University and Columbia University are successfully using extended criteria donor livers which means that they use livers from people who may not be considered optimal donors by other centers (examples: age 65 and above or who have HepC - to give the liver to someone w/ with Hep C).
Wait time at Indiana U. has decreased incredibly; they presented their results at the April 2006 meeting of the American Surgery Association. Columbia U. is also giving these livers to HCC patients, including people who exceed the Milan criteria. Search the web for extended criteria donor livers and you'll also find a story on a man with HCC w/ tumors greater than 5cm successfully transplanted at Columbia. Also search Pub Med for Dr. John Renz at Columbia; he and their team published an article in Transplantation Oct 2005 on their use of extended criteria organs. They get livers rejected by other centers (say from Kansas) and use them. This requires experience and expertise.
2. Some centers such as University of Wisconsin (top notch program) report on successful use livers from cardiac death donors. Check web.
3. Many European countries (Spain, Italy, Austria, Scandinavian countries, etc) have a "presumed consent" organ donation policy which means that EVERYONE is considered a potential donor unless they opt out (a simple process). This law has allowed them to expand the number of transplants and save lives. It's time for a movement to change U.S. policy.
4. The liver transplant programs at UC Irvine and St. Vincent's Hospital in southern CA were shut down in 2005/early 2006 because of major problems. The tip of the ice berg? Good luck and Thanks

5/13/2006 11:08 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My dad is trying to get more info about your transplant in China. He is in great need of a Kidney.Please contact us at

5/16/2006 3:43 PM  
Anonymous Socia said...

Is it possible to get in contact with you. I'm very interested in your story. I think it should be something people should know in Italy.

best wishes

5/17/2006 5:58 AM  
Anonymous Hal said...


I'm a researcher on a California TV news show. We're doing a piece on organ transplants, and I would love to ask you a couple of questions!
my e mail is
Please contact me, I'd love to chat.

5/17/2006 4:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You believe that going to China for an organ is ok because it seems to be your most convenient option. However, it is like taking a liver from the Nazis! Do you know where it came from and how it was obtained? In the East it would be seen that you have some responsibility for the karma associated with how and from whom the organ was obtained. China (despite its massive control of information in and out of China) is known to harvest organs from prisoners without consent. Moreover, who are its prisoners? Many are promoters of democracy and freedom of spiritual belief. It is reported by numerous human rights groups, witnesses, etc that organs are harvested from live Falun Gong practitioners.
I am not saying this to disturb you. I am saying it to enlighten you. Perhaps there is some way that you can rectify the situation and eliminate the karma. Promoting that others go to China for organs is probably not the best thing to do. I am sure you can address this for yourself.

6/04/2006 12:58 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My dad is in great need of a transplant at the age of fourty two he has already had a kidney transplant after ten years my dad was told that his i.g.a had came bk now he is on a search of a new kidney transplant his consultant told my dad that it would be very hard for him to recieve a second kidney as he has very comman antibodies his blood group is o+ if he travelled to china or anywhere in fact are his chances higher can you help?

11/18/2006 1:47 PM  

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