Geography in organ distribution

Current status

The OPTN has approved a continuous distribution model as a framework for future policy development as it addresses geographic distribution of donated organs. Continuous distribution would, in the future, replace fixed geographic boundaries with a statistical model incorporating distance along with key clinical factors.

Continuous distribution

Organs can be distributed to candidates using a statistical formula that combines important clinical factors, such as medical urgency and likelihood of graft survival, along with proximity to the donor location. Using this approach, all candidates would receive a relative distribution score, but there would be no absolute geographic boundary. Candidates who best meet the combination of factors receive the highest priority.

Additional resources

  • Read a June 6 memo to members from OPTN Board President Yolanda Becker, M.D.
  • Read a June 20 memo to members from OPTN Board President Yolanda Becker, M.D.
  • Read a July 31 memo from HRSA Administrator George Sigounas, M.S., Ph.D., to UNOS regarding further development of organ distribution policies.
  • Read an August 13 reply from UNOS to HRSA’s memo of July 31.
  • Read more about alternative distribution approaches for kidney-pancreas.
  • Read an article in the Journal of Health & Biomedical Law analyzing legal issues related to the emergent lung allocation policy enacted in November 2017
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