A hospital planning council has recommended New York approve revised liver transplant rules aimed at improving the safety of the procedure for live liver donors. The proposal would require any hospital performing live adult liver transplants to establish an independent donor advocate team that would work with all donors individually to educate them about risks and evaluate their medical and emotional suitability, supporting the donor throughout the process. After an evaluation, the team would give the surgeon written recommendations regarding the potential donor's suitability. The revisions also would establish criteria for both donor and recipient and set minimum standards and staffing requirements for members of the surgical and anesthesia team. Postoperative care for the donor, medical and nursing staffing requirements, and radiology service requirements also are addressed. The proposal now goes to the state health commissioner for approval. The revised rules were developed following the January 2002 death of a liver donor at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York. Five hospitals perform liver transplants in the state and participated in the guideline development. -- by Cinda Becker
N.Y. urged to approve new liver transplant rules
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