Skip to comments.Woman Dies After Receiving Smoker's Lungs in Transplant
Posted on 12/19/2012 9:23:13 AM PST by Baynative
Jennifer Wederell, a 27-year-old British woman with cystic fibrosis, died of lung cancer after she received the lungs of a heavy smoker in an organ transplant.
(Excerpt) Read more at gma.yahoo.com ...
Appalling case, but dont tell me it hasnt happened in the US.
Donor screening nonexistent?
Never by lungs at a yard sale.
No surprise. When a smoker quits, the cardiovascular mortality decreases very soon. The lung cancer risk is never eliminated.
Can't say it hasn't. But, I'm willing to wager it will when the gov't takes over.
A college classmate of mine got a heart-lung transplant at about the same age. I did not hear that the donor was a smoker. He too died shortly after. These operations are not trivial, and a life with CF leaves a weakened body, transplant or no transplant.
The UK NHS is rapidly becoming a disaster.
This is probably a situation in which they used the smokere’s lungs on somebody whom they did not expect to survive and gave better ones to those whom were expected to survive.
Brittish (Government) Healthcare at it finest!
Boy, I can’t wait for Obamacare!!!
“The Royal Brompton and Harefield NHS Foundation Trust said: “It is very rare for patients to specify that they do not wish to be considered for clinically healthy lungs from smokers.”
“This is because the risks are much higher if patients decline donor lungs from a former smoker, and decide to wait for another set of organs which are both a match for them and from a non-smoker, to become available.”
They still should have let her know, though.
That's correct. Plus, the immunosuppressive therapy that all transplant patients receives enhances the likelihood that any cancer cells already present can grow unimpeded.
The Over/Under of posters who comment after only reading the headline and fail to read the rest which says she had to take the lungs because she had no choice and would have died waiting for the “perfect” lungs to come along
Tell me about it. I knew 2 women who died of lung cancer 10 and 15 years after they quit smoking. The 15 year one was my neighbor who died within a month after being diagnosed and she was only in her 50s. I felt really bad because trying to cheer her up I was telling her getting cancer isn’t the same as it was 20 years ago and that she would pull through it which was total BS on my part.
You won't be waiting long Jack.
Say, you're not using both those kidneys are you?
Poor young lady. RIP.
You’re exactly correct.
I also know that in many hospitals here in the US, the lungs of smokers or former smokers are NEVER accepted for transplant, no matter what condition they may be in.
Second hand smoke kills...
And that doesn't take into account the high probability that the woman was on immune suppressing drugs to minimize the likelihood of organ rejection.
Read the article, it says it is believed that most people dying of a lung disease would be satisfied to take their chances with the lungs of a smoker. So screening is performed but apparently the screen is not very selective.
If one is on a waiting list, for 18months, I don't think you get to be too picky.....
she might have died from her CF complications alone within a few months....
so taking some lungs, even though from a smoker, is a no brainer...no one could predict that the lungs would be cancerous....
not everything works out, but the intentions and reasoning probably were correct...
“most people dying of a lung disease would be satisfied to take their chances with the lungs of a smoker”
Reminds me of the days when ardent anti-smokers would accept tables in the smoking area of a busy restaurant instead of waiting for one in the non-smoking area.
If you were genuinely trying to cheer her up, I don't think you had anything to feel bad about. Getting cancer now IS different than getting it 20 years ago in terms of treatment options. That's no BS.
Unfortunately with lung cancer, it is often diagnosed too late to do much with it. By the time it's detected, it's often Stage 3 or 4, and has metastasized in other places throughout the body.
I’m not impressed with the dog whistle. She may have died anyway.
It wasn't BS because it's very true but it's also true some are diagnosed too late or still beyond the reach even modern treatment. Too often there are terminal cases can only be delayed.
I'd take the chance.
And to add injury to insult...they denied him medical benefits as they told him that as his occupation was plumber....he could still use his twisted arm to unblock toilets.
Amazing bad luck.
and this: Two patients died after being left waiting in ambulances outside an over-stretched hospital.
The patients, believed to have been in their 80s, couldnt get into the Royal Oldham Hospital for seven and 20 minutes respectively.
also:....UK Doctors are starting to prescribe WATER to prevent patients from dying from forced dehydration.
Its the patients not selective, not the screen. They pass up and then have further wait which could be fatal as well.
Chris Watson, vice president of the British Transplantation Society, told CNN that 49 percent of last year's lung donors in the UK were smokers.
True. My sister stopped smoking back in 2005 when she had to undergo surgery for brain aneurisms. In February of 2010, she was diagnosed with lung cancer, underwent chemo and radiation treatments, and died in September 2011. Both my parents died of lung cancer, and my brother died of a massive heart attack at age 51. I have one sister left, age 72, who lives in an adult-assisted living home. She still smokes. I'm 65, have never smoked, but know that I am still in jeopardy of contracting lung cancer.
But it was more than that. For her to die from cancer that quickly, it had to already be active in the donor’s lungs. Taking your chances with a smoker’s lungs is one thing; bringing in an active tumor is quite another.
So you have a risk / reward choice here. Do you take the lungs now, knwing they come from a smoker and could possibly lead to cancer down the road, or do you pass and possibly die waiting for a better set later? The problem here is that the medical team took it on themselves to make the choice, they never informed the patient of the history of those lungs. I guess they figured these are clinically healthy lungs, the risk of cancer is there but small and most likely years away and this was her best chance to survive in the near term so no need to even discuss it. Probably they also know that organs don't last long outside the body and if you tell patients "look, this guy smoked" many will say no thanks, and the organs might be lost. So they kept that info to themselves.
Sadly, the cancer did come and it came right away. Really bad luck, statistically speaking but if the patient had been informed and decided to risk it, she took her best chance knowing the risks. But in this case she didn't know the risks, she was denied the ability to make an informed decision and that is wrong.
That’s correct. Plus, the immunosuppressive therapy that all transplant patients receives enhances the likelihood that any cancer cells already present can grow unimpeded.
That’s what I was thinking. OTOH, if it was a choice between no lungs and death OR this, then I suppose that taking a chance was worth it.
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