Demand Still Overwhelms Supply Of Organs In New England

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The nation's eyes were on Boston in 1954 when Drs. Joseph E. Murray and J. Hartwell Harrison performed the world's first successful kidney transplant at what was then Brigham Hospital. The patients were identical twin brothers.

Boston continues to break ground in the science of transplants.  Just last year, James Maki became the nation's second recipient of a face transplant, performed at Brigham and Women's Hospital.

Despite the exceptional research, the discrepancy between available organs and those who need them remains a problem.  As of noon Tuesday, the waiting list comprises 107,779 people — men, women and children. Many might die waiting.

On Tuesday's Radio Boston, we meet two experts to discuss the contemporary landscape of transplants, and we meet a woman from Newton who only today got listed for a double-lung transplant. Kathy Hogan suffers from Alpha 1, a genetic condition that results in chronic lung or liver disease.


  • Kathy Hogan, Newton
  • Stefan Tullius, M.D., Ph.D, chief of transplant surgery, Brigham and Women's Hospital; associate professor of surgery, Harvard Medical School
  • Sean Fitzpatrick, spokesman, New England Organ Bank

This program aired on June 1, 2010.


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