According to a new study, receiving lungs from an older donor should not be discouraged. It is a viable option. The study was published in The Annals of Thoracic Surgery.
Researchers suggested that the chances of survival in young recipients of lungs from donors, who were above 60 years is comparable to those, who received lungs from young donors.
A team of researchers at University of Louisville studied around 14,000 lung transplant cases for the age group of 18 and more in the U.S. During 2005 to 2014. Around 25% of donors were 50 and older, and 2% of them received lungs from donors over the age of 60.
The study findings established that survival rates over a period of 5 years were same for those, who received lungs from old donors and the ones, who received lungs from young donors.
The results were much better for young recipients receiving lungs from old donors when they had a double lung transplant instead of single. However, there was no difference in survival rates between patients, who received double lung transplant from younger donors and those, who received lungs from old donors.
According to Dr. William Whited, the study author, the availability of lungs for carrying out lung transplant is a major hindrance. This research would help in expanding the pool of donors that can be considered for transplantation.
According to the U.S. Organ Procurement & Transplant Network, around 1400 people are waiting for a lung transplant. The average waiting time for transplantation is four months and nearly 200 people die in a year as they fail to receive lungs for transplantation.