Why the Elderly Go in For Transplant Surgery?

Elderly people are also seeking better medical care and prefer transplant surgeries. The young are not the only people who deserve these transplant surgeries as they have a longer life to lead; the elderly also can go in for them. Survival rate among the elderly after the surgery is also equally good as compared to the young. More aged bodies are getting organs into their systems. This has been observed in a study published in the Journal of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery (source)

Do Elderly Deserve Transplant Surgeries?
Transplant surgeons are taking up the challenge to provide organs to the elderly. Earlier they may have hesitated to do so due to age factor, but now they find that the elderly are living considerable number of years after the transplant surgery. An observation has also been made whether to provide imperfect organs to the elderly, a solution worked out by lung transplant surgeons of UCLA Medical Center in Los Angeles.

The elderly patients of the UCLA Medical Center showed considerable progress after transplant surgeries and lived up to 3 years, equaling the younger patients. The study also indicates that the survival years will go further up if necessary changes are made.

This proves that the argument that only the younger patients do well does not stand validity. Older people were given less preference due to their age for transplant surgeries, as the organs available were limited. But now this need not be the case. A review of medical records of 100 patients who received lung transplants between 2000 and September 2006 was done. More elderly patients had undergone transplant surgeries.

The elderly patients were willing to accept a less perfect organ. An organ not suitable to a younger patient was given to them. By changing the drug regimen, it was felt that one could make the elderly body accept the new organ better. This change in drugs at times made elderly patient susceptible to infection. Older people can die of these infections, it was observed.

The elderly are now in better position to take care of them. They also can be given the best treatment facilities, and should not be denied organs on account of their age. On moral ground physicians are finding it difficult to deny organs to the elderly.

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