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Proposed Change Could Improve Liver Transplant Access

New distribution system would enable wider sharing of donated livers

TUESDAY, Aug. 16, 2016 (HealthDay News) — A new proposal would mean where Americans live will no longer affect how long they have to wait for a liver transplant.

Currently, some parts of the country have fewer available livers for transplant and higher demand, such as California and New York. People in those states tend to have to wait longer for a new liver than someone in South Carolina or Washington State, the Associated Press reported.

The United Network for Organ Sharing, which runs the nation’s transplant system, wants to change how donated livers are distributed so patients don’t need to leave home to boost their chances of getting a new liver. Under the proposal, the nation would be divided into eight new districts for liver transplants. Doing so would enable wider sharing of donated livers and lead to a better mix of regions where potential donors live and those with longer waiting lists, the AP reported.

The proposed change, which will be open for public comment through mid-October, could face opposition because some transplant centers with shorter wait lists don’t want those lists to get longer.

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