Children with NDD present for organ transplant evaluation, but the role of NDD as a listing criterion itself is poorly described. Therefore, we sought to investigate how major pediatric solid organ transplant programs use NDD as a criterion in their listing decisions. We developed a survey that was sent via post to active pediatric solid organ transplant programs across the United States investigating transplant listing decision-making for neurodevelopmentally delayed children. Respondents were medical/surgical directors and transplant coordinators. Descriptive statistics summarize the findings. Programs inconsistently use NDD in listing decisions. Thirty-nine percent of programs stated that they "rarely" or "never" consider NDD in their decisions, whereas 43% of programs "always" or "usually" do. Sixty-two percent of programs report that informal processes guide their use of NDD, and no programs describe their process as "formal, explicit, and uniform." The degree of delay is an additional source of discordance among programs, with 14% of programs reporting mild or moderate NDD as a relative contraindication to listing and 22% reporting that NDD was "irrelevant" to the listing decision. The use of NDD in pediatric solid organ transplant listing decisions is varied and inconsistent across active programs.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Many professional societies and research studies recommend complete vaccination before pediatric solid organ transplantation. Nevertheless, incompletely vaccinated children often receive transplants. As the number of parents refusing to vaccinate children for nonmedical reasons increases, pediatric transplantation programs face difficult listing decisions. Given the importance of psychosocial criteria in listing decisions, this study explores how parental refusal of vaccination affects those listing decisions. Surveys were emailed to individuals at 195 pediatric solid organ transplantation programs in the United States, with a 71% response rate. Forty-four respondents (39%) reported that their programs have had cases involving parental refusal of vaccination. In response to hypothetical scenarios, 93 respondents (82%) would list a child not vaccinated for medical reasons, whereas only 54 respondents (47%) would list a child whose parents refused vaccination. Only five respondents (4%) reported that their programs had written policies regarding parental refusal of vaccination. These data reveal inconsistencies across pediatric transplantation programs regarding how parental refusal of vaccination affects listing decisions and raise the issue of whether and how the reason for incomplete vaccination should be factored into listing decisions. We recommend further discussion and the development of written guidelines to unify programs' assessments of incompletely vaccinated pediatric transplantation candidates.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Children with multiple comorbidities, including neurodevelopmental delay, can develop end-stage kidney disease (ESKD). When and if these children should be eligible for kidney transplantation is an area of debate within the pediatric nephrology community and the public. Discussions focus on expected survival and quality of life posttransplant, as well as resource allocation decisions, as donor kidneys remain a limited resource. This paper focuses on the evidence available regarding outcomes in this population and the ethical issues that should be considered. The authors offer a framework for transplant teams evaluating children with comorbidities for kidney transplant, focusing on the benefits and burdens that transplantation can be expected to achieve.
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