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  • Conversation: The Drug-Intoxication Epidemic and Solid-Organ Transplantation

    • May 21, 2018 12:56 PM BST
    • The Drug-Intoxication Epidemic and Solid-Organ Transplantation

      The New England Journal of Medicine:
      The drug-abuse epidemic in the United States has led to an increased number of organ donors dying from drug intoxication.1,2 We investigated the effect of drug intoxication–related deaths on organ donation and outcomes after transplantation by analyzing data on donors and transplantation over a period of 17 years in the United States as compared with Eurotransplant (a collective of all transplantation centers in eight European countries). We ascertained the proportion of recovered organs that were from adult donors who died as a result of drug intoxication. We also examined survival after heart or lung transplantation among the recipients of such allografts, since these organs are especially sensitive to ischemic injury that results from hypoxia or hypotension, conditions that are typically noted in persons who die from drug intoxication.3-5 The Cochran–Armitage statistic was used to describe differences in organ recovery over time. A multivariable Cox regression model was constructed to assess the independent effect of donor cause of death on post-transplantation survival with the use of the log-rank test. Monthly survival was estimated by the Kaplan–Meier method and interpolated linearly.
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