Distribution of Kidneys and Pancreata from Alaska
Sponsoring Committee: Kidney Transplantation
Strategic Goal: Promote the efficient management of the OPTN
Read the proposal (PDF; 01/2020)
View the Board Briefing Paper (PDF; 6/2020)
View the Policy Notice (PDF; 6/2020)
Contact: Tina Rhoades
At a glance
What is current policy and why change it?
Deceased donor kidneys and pancreata from donors in Alaska are first offered to candidates in a designated Donation Service Area (DSA), which helps prevent the organ traveling further to go to a patient in similar need. A new policy will replace DSA with a 250 nautical mile circle around the donor hospital. When this changes, because there are no transplant hospitals in Alaska, there will not be any transplant hospitals located within 250 nautical miles of donor hospitals in Alaska. Without a policy change, all organs procured in Alaska would be offered nationally, which could create inefficiencies in organ placement. This means that these organs could be offered to a patient in Florida before a very similar patient in California if not addressed by a modification of policy.
What’s the proposal?
- The Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (Sea-Tac) would be a substitute for the donor hospitals in Alaska as the center of the 250 nautical mile circle.
What’s the anticipated impact of this change?
- What it’s expected to do
- Promote the efficient placement of kidneys and pancreata from donors in Alaska.
- What it won’t do
- Affect the placement of organs donated anywhere other than Alaska.
Themes to consider
- How this would impact efficient placement of organs.
Terms you need to know
- Donation Service Area: The geographic area designated by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) that is served by one organ procurement organization (OPO), one or more transplant hospitals, and one or more donor hospitals.
- Donor hospital: The hospital where the deceased or living donor is admitted.
- Nautical mile: Equal to 1.15 miles and is directly related to latitude and longitude; used in aviation.
- Click here to search the OPTN glossary.