News Roundup #10: Transplant Education, immunosuppressant lynchpins, Flynn profile, OPTN public comment

Compensation for donors? The Flynns say yes

For those of you who were wondering about the Flynn behind Flynn v. Holder, look no further. The BBC has done a profile on the Flynn family whose lawsuit sparked the landmark 9th circuit court of appeals ruling that bone marrow donors who donate via peripheral blood can be compensated. Of course, the Obama administration is appealing the ruling, and for some good reasons, but it does show the story of the family in a way that had not been seen before.

Get yourself an education

Here are some cool ways to get educated about organ transplants.

There’s a resource guide for librarians in preparation for National Donate Life month in April.

And  check out this mobile game hitting the market called Doctor Transplant. It aims to virtualize the issues around transplantation in order to increase awareness and encourage more organ donation.

Immunosuppressant’s the thing

As reported extensively, the possibility of twinning organ transplants with bone marrow from the donor may offer improved immune responses to an organ graft. It could eliminate the use of immunosuppressant drugs which are both costly and known to cause further health complications down the road for recipients.  How this may affect donors or how adopting this therapy more widely might affect donor consent and follow up care remains to be seen.

Speaking of immunosuppressants, this report on the 1,000th public hospital kidney transplant in India shows that the success of transplants through public care still largely depend on immunosuppressant drugs being provided by the state, when they are too expensive for patients on public care to self-finance. For transplant patients everywhere, anti-rejection immunotherapy is still one of the most difficult aspects of life post-transplant both financially and medically.

Weigh-in on U.S. donor policies and more

Lastly, there are new Organ Procurement & Transplantion Network (OPTN)  policy proposals open for public comment. There some really interesting issues on the agenda: priority status for prior living organ donors who need transplants, establishing paired donation policy, and disease transmission in living donors.  Public comment ends June 15, 2012, so make your voice heard!

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