Deceased Donor Organ Transplantation Performed in the United States for Noncitizens and Nonresidents

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Abstract

Since 2012, the Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network (OPTN)/United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS) has required transplant centers to record the citizenship residency status of patients undergoing transplantation in the United States. This policy replaced the 5% threshold of the non–US citizen/nonresidents (NC/NR) undergoing organ transplantation that could result in an audit of transplant center activity. Since April 1, 2015, the country of residence for the NC/NR on the waitlist has also been recorded. We analyzed the frequency of NC/NR deceased donor organ transplants and waitlist registrations at all US transplant centers by data provided by UNOS for that purpose to the UNOS Ad Hoc International Relations Committee. During the period of 2013 to 2016, 1176 deceased donor transplants (of all organs) were performed in non–US citizen/non–US resident (NC/NR) candidates (0.54% of the total number of transplants). We focused on high-volume NC/NR transplant centers that performed more than 5% of the deceased donor kidney or liver transplants in NC/NR or whose waitlist registrants exceeded 5% NC/NR. This report was prepared to fulfill the transparency policy of UNOS to assure a public trust in the distribution of organs. When viewed with a public awareness of deceased donor organ shortages, it suggests the need for a more comprehensive understanding of current NC/NR activity in the United States. Patterns of organ specific NC/NR registrations and transplantations at high-volume centers should prompt a review of transplant center practices to determine whether the deceased donor and center resources may be compromised for their US patients.

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