Session Time: 6:00pm-7:00pm
Presentation Time: 6:00pm-7:00pm
Location: Hall C & D
*Purpose: We recently reported on the first transport of a human kidney using a drone. Ahead of large scale adoption of such a technology, understanding the human impact (good or bad) organ drones is important. The lay public is curious and potentially nervous about drone use. The viewpoints of organ transplant stakeholders have not been studied. We hypothesized that transplant surgeons would be skeptical of using drones to move transplantable organs.
*Methods: Ahead of a larger survey and to begin the validation process of potential survey questions, we surveyed 53 kidney transplant surgeons in the United States. The survey consisted of 6 domains, each with a question block of 5-8 questions. The survey was active for 5 days. Surgeons were contacted by email 3 times to request completion No reimbursement was provided.
*Results: Twenty-one transplant surgeons responded, for a response rate of 40%. Age range was 34-64 years and 86% were male. The majority (57%) transplanted 10-50 kidneys per year, 33% greater than 50, and 10% less than 10 kidneys per year. All surgeons (100%) stated that KDPI, CIT and biopsy were factors that impacted their decision to accept an organ. Of responders, 78% said CIT reduction to 8 hours from the current average of 18 hours would allow them to accept and transplant more organs. Most surgeons were more likely to accept a kidney with high KDPI if CIT was < 8 hours (79%) versus 8-24 hours (63%) and 26% for CIT > 24 hrs. Regardless of CIT, the majority of surgeons were less likely to accept a kidney with a poor biopsy (GS rate > 25%). The majority of participants ranked their knowledge of drones as average or below average (85%). Of note, 30% of surgeons had flown or piloted a drone. The majority (90%) believed that it was possible to move an organ over 3 miles while (50%) believed that it was possible to move an organ over 250 miles. Further, 65% of respondents considered the maximum speed of a civilian drone to be 50 mph (65%). Only 20% of respondents believed that civilian drones were a scary concept, while 36% stated that civilian drones made them nervous. 90% believed that drones have the potential to help people and 79% believed that there is a role for drones in medicine. Regarding patient knowledge, 0% of surgeons believed that their patients knew how organs were transported, and 0% felt drone use would change their patient’s decision to accept an organ. Notably, 95% of surgeons agreed transport modality (including drones) was irrelevant and that speed and organ quality was the focus.
*Conclusions: Surgeons desire shorter CIT for kidneys, especially for kidneys with high-KDPI. Surgeon knowledge of drones is poor and a minority viewed drones as scary. Surgeons were largely indifferent about the means of organ transport, suggesting perhaps that drone use might be reasonable if barriers to entry were minimized.
To cite this abstract in AMA style:Talaie T, Barth R, Scalea JR. Organ Transportation by Drone: Surgeon Perspectives [abstract]. Am J Transplant. 2019; 19 (suppl 3). https://atcmeetingabstracts.com/abstract/organ-transportation-by-drone-surgeon-perspectives/. Accessed September 24, 2021.
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