Solving the Organ Shortage Crisis: The 7th Annual American Society of Transplant Surgeons’ State-of-the-Art Winter Symposium


* Corresponding author: Elizabeth A. Pomfret,


The 2007 American Society of Transplant Surgeons’ (ASTS) State-of-the-Art Winter Symposium entitled, ‘Solving the Organ Shortage Crisis’ explored ways to increase the supply of donor organs to meet the challenge of increasing waiting lists and deaths while awaiting transplantation. While the increasing use of organs previously considered marginal, such as those from expanded criteria donors (ECD) or donors after cardiac death (DCD) has increased the number of transplants from deceased donors, these transplants are often associated with inferior outcomes and higher costs. The need remains for innovative ways to increase both deceased and living donor transplants. In addition to increasing ECD and DCD utilization, increasing use of deceased donors with certain types of infections such as Hepatitis B and C, and increasing use of living donor liver, lung and intestinal transplants may also augment the organ supply. The extent by which donors may be offered incentives for donation, and the practical, ethical and legal implications of compensating organ donors were also debated. The expanded use of nonstandard organs raises potential ethical considerations about appropriate recipient selection, informed consent and concerns that the current regulatory environment discourages and penalizes these efforts.