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Board ends probation for UC Irvine Medical Center

Published on: Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Richmond, Va. -- At its meeting today, the OPTN/UNOS Board of Directors lifted the status of probation for the University of California Irvine Medical Center (UCI). The Board had placed UCI on probation in March 2006 based on serious deficiencies in patient care involving its liver transplant program. UCI voluntarily withdrew its liver program from OPTN membership in November 2005 but continues to operate kidney and pancreas transplant programs.

"UCI has adhered to a detailed program of corrective actions we required," said incoming OPTN/UNOS President Timothy Pruett, M.D., who also chaired the OPTN/UNOS Membership and Professional Standards Committee during UCI's probation. "Its medical staff and administration have shown a willingness to address past deficiencies and have cooperated fully with heightened monitoring and review, including an unannounced site survey conducted in March 2007. This is the appropriate time to end their probation. We will continue to monitor the center on a routine basis, as part of our ongoing responsibility to ensure patient safety and quality of outcomes for transplantation."

In other action, the OPTN/UNOS Board approved new requirements to extend and enhance data collection on the health of living organ donors after donation. The measures include extending the period of followup from the previous one year to two years, refining data elements on existing data forms and clarifying the obligation to report a living donor's death or native organ failure. The Board also approved the formation of a joint OPTN committee to further identify the types and potential endpoints of living donor data collection.

"It is vital to expand the length and quality of data to track the health and functional status of living donors," said outgoing OPTN/UNOS President Sue McDiarmid, M.D. "Not only do we have an obligation to minimize risk and harm for those who have already donated, but we want to provide accurate risk information to those who are considering becoming a living donor. Today's actions are relatively small steps, but part of a much bigger picture we are continuing to address."

The Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network (OPTN) is operated under contract with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Health Resources and Services Administration, Division of Transplantation by the United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS). The OPTN brings together medical professionals, transplant recipients and donor families to develop organ transplantation policy.