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Community feedback needed on continuous distribution of liver and intestinal organs

Community feedback needed on continuous distribution of liver and intestinal organs

The Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network (OPTN) Liver and Intestinal Organ Transplantation Committee has been working to develop policy for continuous distribution of those organ types. Making informed decisions about weighting attributes is an important part of the process, and the committee welcomes community input.

UNOS invites the public to share feedback related to factors involved in liver allocation; to collect this input, a special values prioritization exercise is now open through March 15, 2023. This exercise is an opportunity for the community to comment on how different factors are weighted in composite scoring in liver allocation.

Patient feedback is especially important to transplant policy development, and patients are encouraged to take part. You do not need to be a clinician or a donation or transplant professional to complete the exercise.

The values exercise can be completed either online or via a hard copy.

Details about how to request a hard copy be found below.

The committee also has an update on continuous distribution of livers and intestines and has requested for feedback during the public comment period, which also closes March 15.

Read the update, watch video presentations from committee members, and add your comments on the public comment page for Update on Continuous Distribution of Livers and Intestines.

Before you participate in the values prioritization exercise

Learn more about continuous distribution and organ allocation goals on the continuous distribution information hub page.

Resources include patient-friendly animations and recorded presentations that explain:

  • Organ allocation goals
  • Composite allocation scoring and the points-based system
  • The methodology behind the values prioritization exercises

Complete the exercise online or request a hard copy 

A link to the values prioritization exercise is on the public comment page for the committee’s request for feedbackUpdate on Continuous Distribution of Livers and Intestines.

Participants may also request a hard copy that can be delivered by email, fax or mail. For more details, please contact Patient Services at 1-888-894-6361 or email [email protected], 8:30 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. ET, Monday-Friday.

More about continuous distribution

The continuous distribution framework is flexible enough to apply to all organ types because it can be tailored based on the matching factors appropriate for each organ. The framework aims to:

  • Prioritize sickest candidates first to reduce waitlist deaths
  • Improve long-term survival after transplant
  • Increase transplant opportunities for patients who are medically harder to match
  • Increase transplant opportunities for candidates with distinct characteristics, including candidates under the age of 18 or prior living donors
  • Promote the efficient management of organ placement

Using the same framework for all organs will improve organ allocation by creating consistency and transparency for the entire transplant community. To apply the framework to each organ, each organ type will be looked at individually and result in organ-specific policy. This process started with lung and is continuing with kidney and pancreas as well as liver and intestinal organs.

The goals of the new continuous distribution framework are consistent with allocation requirements in the National Organ Transplant Act (NOTA) and the OPTN Final Rule. Each proposed continuous distribution organ allocation policy will be reviewed for compliance with NOTA and the OPTN Finale Rule by the OPTN Board of Directors prior to adoption.

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