Drs: Doctors Perform Transplants with Sub-Optimal Organs to Save Lives


The Doctors: Diseased Organs Can Save Lives

Organ transplants often have to happen within hours to save someone’s life, but sometimes the only organs around have diseases. Would you want it put inside your body?

Drs: Doctors Perform Transplants with Sub-Optimal Organs to Save Lives

The Doctors talked with a woman who had a sub-optimal, hepatitis B positive liver transplant that saved her life.


A man in Maryland died after he got rabies from a kidney transplant while three other patients who got different organs from the same man never showed signs of rabies. After looking into the man’s medical history more, doctors found the man to have an inflammation of the brain.

The Doctors said while the inflammation of the brain could not be transferred to the patient, it shows that doctors don’t know everything about the organ they are implanting into someone.

Organs Are Tested For All Common Disease But Not All Diseases

The Doctors said when an organ donor dies, there is often very little time to get the organs to the hospital, inform the family, test the organs and complete the transplant. While doctors will test the organ being transplanted for common disease like HIV and hepatitis, there is usually not enough time to test for other diseases that take days to test.


There are times when even a diseased organ is better than no organ at all and no one knows that better than Leiuana.

Bridge Transplant With Diseased Liver Saves a Life

In 2006, Leiuana was pregnant and had developed preeclampsia. She was rushed to the hospital where her son was declared a stillborn and her preeclampsia had developed into a rare disease. Leiuana’s blood pressure began to spike and doctors found her liver to have ruptured  She literally have hours to live before she needed a transplant but the only liver in the hospital had hepatitis B.

Leiuana opted for the transplant and for three days she lived with a hepatitis B positive liver. Miraculously, on the third day, a liver that was an exact match for her was delivered to the hospital.

Dr. Lisa Masterson said if this had happened years ago there was no way she would have survived a ruptured liver but the miracle of medicine saved yet another life.

Check out the video below to see how she is doing today.


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