Officials are doing a re-think on organ transplant rules following the plight of two recipients who suffered a brain infection contacted from an organ donor who had a rare disease that was initially thought to be non-transmissible.
A child at the University of Mississippi Medical Center in Jackson had a rare and fatal infection that was reported as being non-transmissible. But the recipients who received the transplants became critically ill. The University revealed this incident on December 18.
Dr. Michael G. Ison, chairman of an advisory committee on infectious disease transmission for the United Network for Organ Sharing, said that at present it was up to the transplant centers to decide whether to use organs from donors who have poorly defined neurological disorders.
"The bigger issue is that in cases in which a patient has a neurologic condition that hasn't been definitively diagnosed, that is associated with altered mental status, most experts would recommend against the use of organs from those donors," he stressed on the New York Times.
Dr. Eileen Farnon, an epidemiologist at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said this was a difficult topic because organs are really scarce.