Memorial Hermann halts liver transplants

Memorial Hermann-Texas Medical Center in Houston has voluntarily stopped its liver transplant program after learning of and investigating what it calls "irregularities with donor acceptance criteria."

The hospital said it was recently made aware of a pattern of irregularities with donor acceptance criteria from the database used by United Network for Organ Sharing, a private, nonprofit organization that manages the nation's organ transplant system under contract with the federal government. 

"'Donor acceptance criteria' refers to factors such as the age and weight of deceased donors whose livers are being made available for transplant," Memorial Hermann-Texas Medical Center said in an April 4 statement shared with Becker's

"Upon notification of the irregularities, we immediately began an investigation, and we chose to voluntarily inactivate our liver transplant program," the hospital said. 

It is not clear how long liver transplants will be suspended, nor when Memorial Hermann's investigation began. Memorial Hermann said it is continuing its investigation, cooperating with all regulatory oversight agencies, and working with all impacted patients and families individually. The hospital said no other transplant programs are affected by the suspension of liver transplants. 

Memorial Hermann-Texas Medical Center completed Houston's first liver transplant in 1985. Its transplant team performs heart, kidney, lung and pancreas transplants, in addition to those for pediatric patients.  

Becker's will update this story as more information is made available.

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