A new data report contains summary level information on the exception request decisions made by the Pediatric National Heart Review Board (NHRB). The board was implemented on June 15, 2021. Before implementation, Regional Review Boards (RRBs) handled and reviewed exception cases for pediatrics candidates.
The purpose of the NHRB is to improve consistency in evaluating exceptions for heart candidates listed before their 18th birthday and their primary goals are to:
- Improve equity in access to transplants
- Improve waitlisted patient, living donor, and transplant recipient outcomes
The report notes several important trends since implementation involving the use of pediatric exceptions, including:
- Waitlist additions by exception increased for statuses 1A and 1B from 119 (pre-policy era) to 135 (post-policy era)
- Statuses 1A and 1B are the two highest medical urgency categories for pediatric candidates
- Learn more about the different pediatric statuses and their requirements here
- Overall post-transplant patient survival increased, especially for status 1A patients whose survival was 2% greater at six months post-transplant
The OPTN Heart Transplantation Committee reviewed this report at their Dec. 20th meeting and will continue to monitor the NHRB as data is submitted. Subsequent monitoring reports will be published on the OPTN website on an ongoing basis. Find more details about the NHRB here.