Changing the paradigm of organ utilization from PHS increased-risk donors: an opportunity whose time has come?

Clin Transplant. 2015 Sep;29(9):724-7. doi: 10.1111/ctr.12582. Epub 2015 Jul 23.


Approximately 8-11% of all organ donors are classified by Public Health Service (PHS) as increased-risk. The proportion of PHS increased-risk donors is on the rise. At the University of Washington Medical Center, in 2014, the proportion of transplants from PHS increased-risk donors was 28% of liver transplants and 23% of kidney transplants. Nationally, transplant providers have been reluctant to use organs from PHS increased-risk donors because of concern for transmission of HIV, HCV, or HBV. There is also patient apprehension when these organs are being offered, and thus the discard rate of these otherwise good quality organs is high. Because of the organ shortage, preventing underutilization of such organs is essential. We provide data and considerations that should be used to guide the use of organs from PHS increased-risk donors.

Keywords: PHS donors; increased-risk organ donors; kidney transplants; liver transplant; organ shortage.

MeSH terms

  • Donor Selection / standards*
  • Donor Selection / statistics & numerical data
  • Health Services Accessibility
  • Humans
  • Organ Transplantation / standards*
  • Patient Safety
  • Risk Assessment
  • Risk Factors
  • Tissue Donors / statistics & numerical data
  • Tissue Donors / supply & distribution*
  • United States