Lung transplant patients forced to accept smokers’ organs
THE Lancet reports that patients are being forced to accept lungs from dead smokers. Four in ten lungs donated to the needy are from smokers. Given the option of no new lungs or those that have tasted the evil weed, the patient has little choice.
One third of those needing a lung transplant die on the waiting list.
You get to wear smoker’s lungs without ever having known the sublime joy of a cigarette on a sunset beach. Unless your diseased lungs are from smoking, in which case carry on.
But not for ll that long. Lungs taken from smokers don’t last as long as those harvested form non-smokers. You are, the research says, 46% more likely to die within three-years of surgery if your new lungs came from a smoker. The Lancet says too many healthy lungs form non-smokers are discarded.
Professor Robert Bonser, of the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Birmingham, and the University of Birmingham, is quoted:
“Our data shows that patients awaiting lung transplantation in the UK are likely to survive longer if they are willing to accept lungs from any suitable donor, irrespective of smoking history. Rejection of smokers as a donor-organ resource would increase waiting-list mortality and is ill-advised.”
So. What would you do? Take the smoker’s lungs or wait…