Older Transplant Patients Getting Second Chance at Life

May 9, 2012 | Crandall & Pera Law
Older Transplant Patients Getting Second Chance at Life

More patients over the age of 65 are being considered for heart transplants, patients who would have been routinely rejected just ten years ago, according to The New York Times.

Thanks to voluntary guidelines issued by the International Society for Heart and Lung Transplantation in 2006, hospitals are opening up their transplant candidacy to older people with otherwise overall good health, with some centers like the Cleveland Clinic and Johns Hopkins Medicine operating on patients in their early or even middle 70s.

“Many of these older patients can transition to an even older age while maintaining a very good quality of life. Why would we deny someone that opportunity?” said Dr. Mandeep Mehra, executive director of the Center for Advanced Heart Disease at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston and chairman of the committee that drew up the new guidelines.

Some transplant centers still do not want to risk such operations, though, even when statistics show insubstantial differences in survival rates based on age. There remains hearty debate that scarce organs should be allocated to young people, while seniors are placed on alternative lists to receive hearts from older donors that are not viable for younger patients. Read the complete details here:

Heart Transplants for Older Patients

Steve Crandall, a top rated medical malpractice lawyer in Ohio and Kentucky, believes that allowing older patients to receive heart transplants is a great reward to those who take care of themselves throughout their lifetime, allowing them the chance to continue this lifestyle with even more health and vigor.

He also believes we all need to look at the bigger picture when it comes to this issue: “It is a great message for all of us to live healthy now, so we can continue to do so in the future.”

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