Variation of heart transplant rates in the United States during holidays

Justin L. Grodin, Colby R. Ayers, Jennifer T. Thibodeau, Joseph D. Mishkin, Pradeep P.A. Mammen, David W. Markham, Mark H. Drazner, Parag C. Patel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background: Some cardiac transplant programs may upgrade listed patients to United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS) 1A-status during the holidays. Whether more transplants actually occur during holidays is unknown. Methods: We assessed rates of single-organ heart transplantation from 2001 to 2010 for recipients age ≥18 yr using the UNOS database. Patients were stratified by transplantation during holiday (±3 d, n = 2375) and non-holiday periods (n = 16 112). Holidays included Easter/Spring break, Memorial Day, July 4th, Labor Day, Thanksgiving, and Christmas/New Years (winter holidays). Secondary analysis assessing transplant rates across seasons was also completed. Results: Donor and recipient characteristics were similar between groups. Compared with non-holidays, July 4th had higher transplant rates (5.69 vs. 5.09 transplants/d, p = 0.03) while the winter holiday had lower transplant rates (4.50 vs. 5.09 transplants/d, p < 0.01). There was a trend toward lower transplant rates for all holidays compared with non-holidays (p = 0.06). Transplant rates were significantly different across seasons with greater rates in spring and summer (p < 0.01). Conclusion: Heart transplant rates were higher during the July 4th and lower during the winter holidays. Although there was a higher likelihood of transplantation during the spring and summer seasons, upgrading patients to 1A status during most holidays may not improve their chances for transplantation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)877-882
Number of pages6
JournalClinical Transplantation
Volume28
Issue number8
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 2014

Keywords

  • Heart transplant
  • Holiday
  • Organ donor
  • Organ recipient
  • United Network for Organ Sharing status

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Transplantation

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    Grodin, J. L., Ayers, C. R., Thibodeau, J. T., Mishkin, J. D., Mammen, P. P. A., Markham, D. W., Drazner, M. H., & Patel, P. C. (2014). Variation of heart transplant rates in the United States during holidays. Clinical Transplantation, 28(8), 877-882. https://doi.org/10.1111/ctr.12396