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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Gene Edward Ridolfi, RN, BA (Washington University School of Medicine)
Description: This book discusses the events surrounding the bungled heart-lung transplant for a 17-year-old girl who initially received organs of the wrong blood type at Duke University Medical Center in 2003. It approaches the event from the perspective of the exporting Organ Procurement Organization's (OPO) process, the importing OPO, and the staff and surgeons at the accepting transplant center. The book also discusses the decisions surrounding the second transplant the patient underwent two weeks later. The patient died after the second operation.
Purpose: The purpose is to understand the sequence of events surrounding the bungled transplant and the retransplant. It also raises questions about organ allocation, retransplant criteria, and, because the girl was smuggled illegally into the U.S. to get treatment, illegal aliens. These are all worthy objectives. The book raises many questions about organ availability and allocation and recipient selection.
Audience: It is intended primarily for clinical staff associated with the allocation of organs and transplant centers as well as screeners for recipient candidacy and acceptors of organs. The book also would be of interest to students, practitioners, and clinicians with a focus on ethics.
Features: This book covers all of the issues concerning the transplant, from the allocation and recipient process to the ethical issues surrounding the questions of the patient's citizenship and retransplantation. It also highlights the impact of the U.S. press, a most interesting discussion. One shortcoming of the book is in the explanation of organ allocation, specifically match runs, open ended offer, etc.
Assessment: This is a very interesting read. It made me think about the many other issues that surround and impact the theater of organ donation and transplantation.