South-Central Pa. Hospital Ends Two Transplant Programs

Penn State Health has decided to permanently discontinue its liver and kidney transplant programs, leaving 161 patients on the organ waitlists uncertain about their future. The health care center initially paused liver transplants last month following a performance review by the United Network for Organ Sharing, which raised concerns about clinical processes and documentation. This marked the second hiatus for Penn State Health’s transplant services since 2021. Among the affected patients is Troy Grider, who had complications after a liver transplant at Hershey in 2021 and is now back on the waiting list. Grider expressed frustration and a desire for transparency about what went wrong with his previous transplant.

In response to the discontinuation, Penn State Health is assisting patients in transitioning to other transplant centers, including facilities in Harrisburg, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Allentown, and Danville. Despite the support, the sudden change has left many patients, including Grider, in a state of limbo. Grider, who is currently not thriving and merely surviving, is transferring his medical records to Johns Hopkins in hopes of securing a spot on their transplant list. The situation underscores the challenges faced by patients reliant on organ transplants and the critical importance of reliable transplant programs.

The decision to halt these vital services has created a significant impact on those awaiting life-saving surgeries. Penn State Health’s efforts to reassign patients to other centers are crucial, but the uncertainty and additional logistical challenges pose a heavy burden on those already in a vulnerable state. The health system’s commitment to addressing the needs of these patients remains essential as they navigate this unexpected transition.

Transplant News
Transplant News

Transplant News brings you the news and content that matters to the transplant community. From patient stories, to the latest in transplant innovation, Transplant News is your window into the world of transplantation.