The logistics of organ transplants – supply but inefficient distribution

An essay in the Wall Street Journal by David Weill titled ‘Supply Isn’t the problem with Organ Transplants” (December 6, 2019), describes the increased supply of organs in the US but an inefficient distribution of the organs to patients who need them, thus creating apparent shortages in the minds of patients and their families. He describes the organ procurement process, managed by network of 60 non-profit organ procurement organizations (OPOs), who operate under the department of Health and Human services oversight, and sets prices. He describes the increased deaths due to the opioid crisis, the eight different thoracic and abdominal organs that can be used from the cadaver, and the rush by various teams to get these organs and match it with their patients. But the matching of available organs to patients depends on the readiness to do the transplant, and delays in that stage may end up with a situation whereby 30% of lung transplant patients die because they never found a donor. What can be done to improve the logistics of supply and demand and thus provide better use of the donor organs ? Should OPOs be measured based on their success in placing organs ? Should doctor workloads be flexed to provide priority to use available organ transplants ? Can technology help improve the grim performance metrics for organ use in the US?

About aviyer2010

Professor
This entry was posted in Coordination, delivery, hospital, logistics, Service Operations, Supply Chain Issues, transport and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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