What is the extended criteria donor (ECD) category for liver transplants?

Due to the severe organ shortage in New York and nationally, potential donor criteria are always being expanded. Age limits (over 70 years of age), amount of fat in the donor liver, and Hepatitis C infection are now being included as appropriate livers but are placed in the Extended Criteria Donor (ECD) category. These livers are turned down by a transplant region that has fewer people on the waitlist and are offered to areas with more patients who might not live long enough to get to the top of the Model for End-stage Liver Disease (MELD) list. If you have agreed to accept an ECD liver, you must carefully discuss the risks and benefits with the surgeon. Donors after cardiac death are a special category of ECD livers. These organs come from patients who have died from cardiac arrests. Cardiac death poses a greater risk to livers due to lack of oxygen and are only good for a select group of patients.

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