Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Biomedical Sciences


Public Health


Objective: To study the effects and trends of the opioid overdose epidemic on deceased donor liver transplantation and examine how some regions more effectively utilize their population of overdose deaths for recovery of livers for transplant. Background: Increases in the rate of overdose deaths have led to a growing portion of the deceased organ donor population arising from overdose events1, 2 . Many transplant centers and recipients decline these livers from overdose donors due to concern for disease transmission and the stigma around addiction and drug use 3 . The risks of using these livers for transplant are continuing to decrease as treatments for diseases such as hepatitis C ensure the safety of the recipient despite the donor’s history of drug use, and research has indicated that these organs are comparable in quality and recipient survival to organs recovered from other donors1,4,5 .

Research Strategies: Use the Pubmed and Google for gathering academic data and published papers to determine national and regional trends in recovery and transplant of livers from donors who died of overdose. Additional data gathered from Centers for Disease Control—CDC—and the Organ Procurement and Transplant Network—OPTN, as well as the Scientific Registry of Transplant Recipients—SRTR—report. Expectations: This project seeks to determine usage trends in donated livers from donors who died by the mechanism of anoxic injury secondary to drug overdose or intoxication and compare those data around usage rates regionally to determine what potential strategies may work for maximizing the usage of these livers for transplant to help address the organ transplant shortage.

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Public Health Commons