So, here are some more things about Tricia's upcoming transplant...just learned some of this today.
> Tricia is blood type A. Type A actually has two subtypes: A1 & A2. She has some unique antibodies in her blood that place her in the A2 category. A1's make up about 80% of the A blood type, which means Tricia is only a match to about 20% of type A organ donors. Lots of discussion and research has gone on among the transplant team and it has been decided that Tricia will also be able to received a donation from a type O donor. The issue with type O is that type O transplant patients will be considered ahead of Tricia...if a type O recipient is not found, the offer could trickle down to Tricia. All of this simply means that Tricia's new lungs are going to be harder to come by.
> Tricia will be offered three documents to sign.
- Surgery and Post-Transplant Risk - Tricia must sign a document that explains the risks of the surgery and post-transplantation (see next major point below).
- "Relationship" Contract - Tricia must sign a document that outlines the expectations for her post-transplantation care...if she's not willing to do what the doctors tell her to do, she won't get her new lungs.
- High Risk Donors - Tricia does not have to sign this document, which basically explains that some organs/donors are labeled as "high risk". If Tricia does not sign this document, she'll limit her options even more by stating that she'll only accept "low risk" organs. The risks are extremely small. "High Risk" simply means that the donor has been known to have participated in one of the following (not the exhaustive list): Jail Time, Tattoos, Illegal Drug Use, Multiple Sexual Partners, etc., and basically means that the donor has done something in his/her life that could create a health risk for those receiving his/her organs. Again, the risks are incredibly minimal (about 1 in 250,000), and Tricia will sign this document.
> I've mentioned this before, but I'll mention it again. Duke's survival rate for double lung transplant is higher than the national average. For CF patients at Duke, there is about a 95% survival rate through surgery and first year, a 65% survival rate through the first 5 years, and a 45% survival rate through 10 years. Compare that to a 50% survival rate 1 year from now for Tricia without a transplant, and a "0%" (doctors words) survival rate 5 years from now for Tricia, and those above numbers look really good.
> Tricia has had a Portacath for the past two years. Her veins are basically shot, pic lines are very hard to place in her body, and the only good/easy way for her to receive IV treatements has been with this port. She will have it removed tomorrow (involving minor surgery) because it could be a cause of infection during the transplantation. She has had a pic line for the past several weeks that will hopefully last as long as possible.
> If Tricia's cultures come back clean over the next several days, and there no more setbacks, there is a good chance she'll be listed and activated by next Tuesday. She should be placed on the top of the list. We'll see...