Session Name: Poster Session A: Basic & Clinical Science – VCA
Session Type: Poster Session
Date: Saturday, June 1, 2019
Session Time: 5:30pm-7:30pm
Presentation Time: 5:30pm-7:30pm
Location: Hall C & D
*Purpose: As the field of Vascular Composite Allotransplantation (VCA) evolves and more VCAs are performed, the demand for VCA donations will increase. However, the public has little awareness and knowledge of VCA. Further, donation requires specific and separate authorization from other solid organs, commonly provided by the deceased donor’s next of kin. Therefore, it is essential for the public to be educated to make informed decisions about VCA.
*Methods: VCA educational materials were obtained from organ procurement organizations, VCA transplant programs, the United Network for Organ Sharing, Health Services and Resources Administration, Veterans’ Affairs, and the Department of Defense. Materials included web pages, videos, and written documents. Content analysis was performed on all educational materials to identify key topics covered in VCA education.
*Results: A total of 30 educational materials were identified and analyzed. Preliminary analysis found that materials regularly covered hand and face transplants, but not other types of VCA. Materials commonly positioned Wounded Warriors, burn victims, and individuals who have lost upper extremity limbs as the target population for VCA, and presented stories of VCA recipients. VCA was commonly described as “groundbreaking,” “innovative,” and “life-giving,” and the surgical process as “complex” and “complicated.” VCA was touted as “a treatment,” “experimental,” or “research” by various documents.
The “potential to dramatically improve” and restore a VCA recipient’s mental and physical health by regaining the ability to “perform daily activities” and by improving body-image were generally covered, along with the long-term requirements of immunosuppression and rehabilitation. However, materials varied in their coverage of donation authorization, risks of VCA, and VCA eligibility. Materials seldom discussed the regulatory bodies overseeing VCA, the allocation of VCA organs, the patient evaluation process, and post-operative recovery. The extent of donor and recipient resemblance after VCA was rarely addressed.
*Conclusions: Our findings suggest that educational materials sufficiently address hand and face transplants, but insufficiently address other VCA types. Further, materials inconsistently covered key topics important for decision-making. Given the specific authorization required for VCA donation, public educational materials on VCA should standardize content so that potential donor families receive consistent, comprehensive, and accurate information for informed decision making.
To cite this abstract in AMA style:Henderson M, Rasmussen S, Uriarte J, Anderson N, Doby B, Cooney C, Brandacher G, Segev D, Gordon E. The Scope and Limitations of Current Public Education Materials on Vascular Composite Allotransplantation and Donation in the United States [abstract]. Am J Transplant. 2019; 19 (suppl 3). https://atcmeetingabstracts.com/abstract/the-scope-and-limitations-of-current-public-education-materials-on-vascular-composite-allotransplantation-and-donation-in-the-united-states/. Accessed June 26, 2022.
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