Federal disease investigators have looked into more than 200 cases of unexpected, suspected transmission of HIV, hepatitis B and hepatitis C through transplanted organs between 2007 and 2010, including some cases that led to the recipient's death.
Now, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has issued a draft of stricter guidelines of what hospitals and others involved in the transplant process should do to prevent these tragic results. The proposed recommendations were last issued in 1994.
"Our first priority must be patient safety," said Matthew J. Kuehnert, MD, director of the CDC's Office of Blood, Organ and Other Tissue Safety Office. "The guideline will help patients and their doctors have information they need to fully weigh risks and benefits of transplanting a particular organ."
The agency's major draft recommendations include the following:
"We recognize that organ demand is much greater than availability," Kuehnert said in a statement. "This guideline will assist the transplant community in ensuring that each patient is protected against unexpected diseases from the organ they so desperately need."