There have been several cases of HIV or hepatitis transmitted via solid organ transplantation. The CDC is recommending new guidelines which would replace the 1994 Public Health Service (PHS) Guidelines for Preventing Transmission of HIV through Transplantation of Human Tissue and Organs. The draft guidelines is 159 pages long. The most significant changes involve:
● expanding the guideline to include hepatitis B virus (HBV) and hepatitis C virus (HCV), in addition to human immunodeficiency virus (HIV);
● utilizing factors known to be associated with increased likelihood of HIV, HBV or HCV to identify potential donors at increased risk for transmitting infection;
● distinguishing between expected and unexpected transmission of HBV and HCV in goals for prevention; and
● limiting the focus to solid organ transplants and vessel conduits recovered for organ transplant purposes.
I am a strong proponent of organ donation, but anything we can do to improve the safety for all involved is a good thing to me.
CDC: Protect Organ Transplant Patients from Unintended Disease Transmission; September 21st, 2011; Matthew J. Kuehnert, MD,
Director, Office of Blood, Organ, and Other Tissue Safety
Draft 2011 Public Health Service (PHS) Guideline for Reducing Transmission of HIV, HBV, and HCV through Solid Organ Transplantation (www.regulations.gov, docket CDC-2011-0011-000)