Design, settings, participants, & measurements: Posttransplantation outcomes were compared between tourists and a matched cohort of patients who underwent transplantation at UCLA (matched for age, race, transplant year, dialysis time, previous transplantation, and donor type). Median follow-up time was 487 d (range 68 to 3056).Transplantation is widely accepted as the preferred
treatment option for children and
adolescents with end-stage organ disease. Developments
in surgical techniques and medical management
have resulted in improved graft and
patient survival for pediatric transplant recipients,
yet the transplantation literature has predominantly
focused on the adult population
despite the increasing number of successful pediatric
transplants and improved outcomes (1, 2,
3). In particular, few studies have examined the
physical, psychological, or social impact of waiting
for a transplant on children and adolescents
and this area of research invites further exploration.
Transplantation consists of several successive
stages, including recognition of a life-threatening
illness; a workup to determine eligibility; the
decision for transplantation; waiting for a suitable
donor; an operative period when a donor is
found; a recovery period; and, long-term followup
care (4, 5). Of these various stages, the ‘waiting
period’ for transplantation has been
described as the most stressful (6); being referred
to as “supreme torture” and “living with a time
bomb” (7, 8). The official waiting period commences
after the child is evaluated and accepted
as a candidate by a transplant center and is registered
with an organ procurement and transplantation
network (6)