One-year survival rates for organ-transplant recipients have improved in all categories, according to the United Network for Organ Sharing.
The latest statistics, released recently by the Department of Health and Human Services, show the greatest gains in lung transplants: About 68% of those who receive transplanted lungs survive at least one year, nearly a 15% increase.
The nine-volume, 2,700-page study--done under contract to HHS--reflects data collected from October, 1987, through December, 1991, at 261 hospitals. More than 60,000 organ transplants were performed during that period.
The gains in lung transplants "come from increased experience . . . at centers across the country, technical improvements, and overall improvements in patient selection and donor awareness, all leading to better results and outcomes," says Robert S. Higgins, a member of UNOS' thoracic organ-transplant committee.