University of Lynchburg DMSc Doctoral Project Assignment Repository

University of Lynchburg DMSc Doctoral Project Assignment Repository


Cardiothoracic Surgery


Dr. Nancy Reid


Purpose: The purpose of this article is to review how donor heart utilization has evolved over time to increase usage and account for the significant donor heart shortage that continues to exist.

Method: A PubMed literature was performed with search terms public health service (PHS) increased risk donor hearts, hepatitis C positive donor hearts, donation after circulatory death (DCD) donor hearts, expanded criteria donor hearts, and donor heart shortage. Seventeen pertinent articles were identified and referenced for the basis of this clinical review.

Results: Hearts from expanded criteria donors, PHS increased risk donors, hepatitis C positive donors, as well as DCD donors can be effectively and safely used in cardiac transplantation to help offset the significant donor heart shortage that exists.

Conclusion: Donor heart shortage remains a critical problem in cardiac transplantation resulting in longer recipient wait times and increased wait list mortality. It is expected the disparity between donor hearts available and patients with end stage heart failure that need transplant will continue to broaden over time. Increasing donor heart utilization through use of expanded criteria, PHS increased risk, hepatitis C, and DCD donors can significantly increase the donor heart pool.


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