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OPTN Board approved measures to support new lung allocation policy

OPTN Board approved measures to support new lung allocation policy

St. Louis – The Board of Directors of the Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network, at its meeting Dec. 5, approved a set of actions to prepare for implementation of a new lung allocation policy based on continuous distribution, originally scheduled to take effect March 2, 2023. The lung continuous distribution policy is now expected to implement on March 9, 2023. The preparatory actions include revised guidance, guidelines and policy regarding the review process for exception requests, as well as an update to multi-organ allocation policy including lungs.

“The new lung allocation policy will be truly transformative,” said Jerry McCauley, M.D., M.P.H., president of the board. “We expect it to improve transplant access for the sickest patients and reduce deaths among those awaiting a transplant. The adjustments approved today will help ensure we are better prepared to launch the new system effectively.”

The board also affirmed a policy that provides an exception pathway for heart transplant candidates who have a mechanical circulatory support device that has been recalled. The OPTN Executive Committee initially had approved this pathway in July 2022 as an emergency action; the board’s action will continue it on a permanent basis.

In addition, the board approved the slate of nominees for the election of board members for open positions beginning July 1, 2023. The board also appointed Deanna Santana to complete a current term as an at large patient/donor affairs representative on the board to replace Merry Smith, M.B.A.

Other actions

The board took a number of additional actions as follows:

Discussion items

The board held a set of facilitated, small-group discussions to identify challenges with organ transportation logistics. The collective input will guide topic development and prioritization of future OPTN projects to improve logistical processes.

The board hosted additional discussion on the following initiatives:

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