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How liver surgeries cut short patientsí lives
tribune-review ^ | Tribune-Review

Posted on 03/09/2008 5:52:04 AM PDT by Salena Zito

How liver surgeries cut short patients’ lives By The Tribune-Review Sunday, March 9, 2008

Hundreds of patients each year undergo liver transplants when they don't need them, and possibly never will, a four-month Pittsburgh Tribune-Review investigation found. One in 10 of those patients dies when they could have lived longer without the transplant. The rest - all at the rock-bottom of waiting lists - must resign themselves to an early battle with the burdensome risks of anti-rejection drugs and complications that can follow: infections, cancers, kidney damage, and high blood sugar.

What's worse, a third of those patients get the worst available livers, organs sometimes rejected by surgeons for thousands of sicker patients across the country.

The University of Pittsburgh Medical Center and three other centers head the list of hospitals doing such surgeries.

(Excerpt) Read more at pittsburghlive.com ...


TOPICS: Health/Medicine
KEYWORDS: army; greed; health; healthcare; hepc; livers; marines; medical; medicine; navy; organtransplants; surgery; veterans

1 posted on 03/09/2008 5:52:05 AM PDT by Salena Zito
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To: Salena Zito
Long article, interesting....but "To expand the liver pool, transplant centers routinely use organs that would have been rejected years ago." Says it all!
2 posted on 03/09/2008 6:17:41 AM PDT by CRBDeuce (an armed society is a polite society)
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To: CRBDeuce

yes definately a sunday read, but there are some chilling facts in there


3 posted on 03/09/2008 6:23:26 AM PDT by Salena Zito
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To: neverdem

ping


4 posted on 03/09/2008 6:29:27 AM PDT by metmom (Welfare was never meant to be a career choice.)
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To: Salena Zito
Reminds me of that old saying..
The patient died, but the operation was a success.

5 posted on 03/09/2008 6:47:47 AM PDT by Condor51 (If my nose was runnin' money honey, I'd blow it all on you.)
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To: Salena Zito

If this was a socialized system I might believe it but a free market medical system where profit is a consideration would never....on second thought.


6 posted on 03/09/2008 6:51:57 AM PDT by awake-n-angry
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To: Salena Zito

Hospitals have become human chop shops.


7 posted on 03/09/2008 6:56:26 AM PDT by Fresh Wind (Vaclav Klaus on global warming skeptics: "a whip of political correctness strangles their voice")
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To: CRBDeuce

I wonder if that is why so many more patients are dying.
Quantity matters more than quality?


8 posted on 03/09/2008 7:12:20 AM PDT by tbw2 ("Humanity's Edge" - conservative Sci-fi - on amazon.com)
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To: Salena Zito
Organ transplants are a profit-center.

It doesn't matter whether they do patients any good or not.

They generate revenue for the surgeon, hospitals and organ-donation industry... that's all that matters.

9 posted on 03/09/2008 8:02:10 AM PDT by E. Pluribus Unum (Islam is a religion of peace, and Muslims reserve the right to kill anyone who says otherwise.)
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To: Salena Zito

WOW! So far this morning I’ve been told that the entire police force in the entire US is corrupt, everyone in the country is out to kill Christians and now, the medical community wants me dead. Did I accidentaly log on to the Twilight Zone version of FR? Or, maybe I haven’t been paying enough attention to the attitudes here... I think I’ll hunt up a jihad site, where things are a bit calmer. You guys are getting scary.


10 posted on 03/09/2008 8:11:30 AM PDT by toomuchcoffee
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To: toomuchcoffee

“Did I accidentaly log on to the Twilight Zone version of FR? Or, maybe I haven’t been paying enough attention to the attitudes here... I think I’ll hunt up a jihad site, where things are a bit calmer. You guys are getting scary.”

I’m afraid it’s not the Twilight Zone version. The best thing you can do is load up on tinfoil, ammo, and food and head for the caves.


11 posted on 03/09/2008 9:02:53 AM PDT by gracesdad
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To: TigersEye; yorkie

read this


12 posted on 03/09/2008 10:20:25 AM PDT by pandoraou812 (Out, damned spot......OUT)
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To: Salena Zito

bump


13 posted on 03/09/2008 10:22:14 AM PDT by VOA
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To: metmom

thanks, bfl


14 posted on 03/09/2008 12:09:54 PM PDT by neverdem
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To: E. Pluribus Unum
Organ transplants are a profit-center.

It doesn't matter whether they do patients any good or not.

They generate revenue for the surgeon, hospitals and organ-donation industry... that's all that matters.

Man, that's a pretty cynical view of American medicine, although with some transplant centers it might be deserved...but it really irks me when people assume that physicians and hospitals make decisions based purely on 'profit'. Then again, does everyone think that physicians should work for free and hospitals should not make a profit either?

I do not work in a transplant center, but have done some during residency...and I am here to say that it is a complicated field...certainly more complicated than the author of this piece makes it out to be.

Do transplants help some who will die without one? Yup...but this does not mean that no one will be harmed by the same procedure.

Two points stick out in my mind:

1. Organ systems do not exist in vivo in isolation...i.e., the liver (or heart, or lungs etc) doesn't just fail in isolation. As organs fail, they most certainly affect other organ systems...so if you wait until the 'last minute' to transplant a failing organ, other body systems may have been effected to a degree that will hinder extending a patient's life span.

2. This is also what people should expect when government regulatory agencies specify, delineate and then enforce 'outcome standards' as well as 'absolute numbers' of conducted procedures as to a program in it's entirety of operation without looking at individual cases.

What I mean by that is if some regulatory agency insists on a center doing X number of cases with Y% survival or else they'll shut the program down, that is NOT in the individual patients best interest. What happens next is that transplant centers start avoiding higher risk patients to keep the mortality rates down (reducing the opportunity for those that require the operation the most to receive it), and then pushing the envelope with operating on healthier patients to keep the overall numbers up and mortality rates down. Before everyone starts denigrating hospitals and doctors in this situation though, realize that if the numbers above are not met, this service may become unavailable for many needy patients.

It's a complicated situation...

15 posted on 03/09/2008 12:29:32 PM PDT by Ethrane ("semper consolar")
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To: Salena Zito
I thought I recognized your name as a writer for the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. I enjoy your writing.

Wooing the Scots-Irish

As a voting bloc, the Scots-Irish respond passionately to five things: the right to bear arms, the preservation of family, a love of country, a respect for life and success in war.

The neoCOMs have a tall order:

They deplore the Second Amendment.
They want to wreck traditional families.
They accuse America for all the evil in the world and worship the United Nations.
They want unrestricted access to abortions.
They want a repeat in Iraq of the disaster they enabled in Vietnam and its neighbors.

16 posted on 03/09/2008 1:17:58 PM PDT by neverdem
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To: Ethrane
It's a complicated situation...

You ain't seen nothing yet.

Wait until organ transplants are a civil right.

That'll be the impetus for gathering everyone's DNA profile into a global database.

If somebody more important than you needs your organs, who are you to deny them their right-to-life?

17 posted on 03/09/2008 1:20:01 PM PDT by E. Pluribus Unum (Islam is a religion of peace, and Muslims reserve the right to kill anyone who says otherwise.)
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To: pandoraou812

read it


18 posted on 03/09/2008 2:41:27 PM PDT by TigersEye (This is the age of the death of reason.)
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To: neverdem

:)


19 posted on 03/09/2008 2:41:48 PM PDT by Salena Zito
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To: toomuchcoffee
WOW! So far this morning I’ve been told that the entire police force in the entire US is corrupt, everyone in the country is out to kill Christians and now, the medical community wants me dead. Did I accidentaly log on to the Twilight Zone version of FR? Or, maybe I haven’t been paying enough attention to the attitudes here... I think I’ll hunt up a jihad site, where things are a bit calmer. You guys are getting scary.

FR has always been like this. We love hyperbole. We also exaggerate things a bit. Sometimes. BUT, if any of those three RATS are elected-selected this fall, America as we know it, is gone forever.

20 posted on 03/09/2008 3:18:48 PM PDT by Jemian ("I hate the media." ~~ Kayak)
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