What's New In  |   January 2015
Transplantation Update
Author Affiliations
  • James Y. Findlay, M.B., Ch.B.
    Committee on Transplant Anesthesia
    Chair
Article Information
Cardiovascular Anesthesia / Central and Peripheral Nervous Systems / Critical Care / Gastrointestinal and Hepatic Systems / Renal and Urinary Systems / Electrolyte Balance / Quality Improvement / What's New In
What's New In   |   January 2015
Transplantation Update
ASA Monitor 01 2015, Vol.79, 46-48.
ASA Monitor 01 2015, Vol.79, 46-48.
The recent history of organ transplantation is one of progression and expansion. Developments in surgery and immunosuppression have resulted in procedures that not long ago were considered high risk and almost experimental to become established therapies for end-stage organ dysfunction. With the improvement in safety and outcomes has come an increase in the number of transplants performed. In 2013, there were 28,954 transplants carried out in the United States. Kidney is the most frequent (16,895), followed by liver (6,455), then heart (2,531) (Figure 1). Outcomes have improved markedly; the reported five-year survival post-transplant is now approximately 85 percent for kidney, 70 percent for liver and 70 percent for heart. For those organs where no replacement therapy is available, this represents an extended lifespan and quality of life for a great many individuals; for kidney transplants, the post-transplant survival and quality of life is superior to that on dialysis. None of this would have been possible without the active participation of physician anesthesiologists in transplant teams. Anesthesiologists provide expertise in the perioperative clinical management both in the O.R. and in the intensive care unit before and after transplant. Physician anesthesiologists are also involved in the evolution of transplant programs participating in patient selection and the development of appropriate pre-transplant screening and evaluation.
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