The opioid epidemic in the United States has worsened in recent years, causing an unexpected surge of heart transplant donors who died of overdose. Experts in the transplantation field are constantly seeking new ways to address the great need for more organ donors, and are examining how this increase of overdose deaths has impacted the transplant community.
A study led by Nader Moazami, MD, surgical director of heart transplantation at NYU Langone Transplant Institute and professor in the Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery, indicates that hearts from donors who died of overdose perform just as well as other hearts. “These are good organs and they should be used for transplantation, and anyone who receives an offer for a heart from one of these types of donors, they need to think hard before rejecting it because it’s a ‘high-risk’ donor,” Dr. Moazami tells TCTMD. Dr. Moazami says he has no concerns unique to using hearts from donors who died of overdose.
Read more from TCTMD.