Angry state GOP representative Tim Geitner shared on Facebook Live that a woman he knows was rejected — for now — a kidney transplant surgery at a Colorado hospital because she was vaccinated against COVID-19. has not been imposed.
The Falcon Republican said Tuesday it was “incredibly disappointing, incredibly sad, incredibly disgusting,” and said the El Paso County woman seeking a transplant has a donor.
UCHealth would not comment on a specific patient’s condition, but it has confirmed that vaccination is a requirement for organ transplant patients “in almost all situations.” Hospital spokesman Dan Weaver said it is common for transplant patients to be asked to fulfill a variety of conditions before, during and after surgery – and this predates the pandemic.
UCHealth denied life-saving treatment — a kidney transplant — to an El Paso County resident. View my FB Live Posts @timgeitnercolorado pic.twitter.com/Z2r8D2VY4m
— Tim Geitner (@tgeitner) 5 October 2021
“For example,” Weaver wrote in an email to The Denver Post, “patients may need to receive vaccinations, including hepatitis B, MMR, and others. Patients may need to avoid alcohol, stop smoking, or prove may also require that they be able to continue taking their anti-rejection medications long after their transplant surgery. These requirements increase the likelihood that a transplant will be successful and the patient will survive rejection.”
The letter, shared by Geitner, says the El Paso County patient will be removed from the hospital’s active transplant list if she does not receive her first vaccine dose by at least the end of October.
Weaver said patients who are not vaccinated against COVID-19 face much higher mortality rates – between 20% and 30%, he said, less than 2% in the general population. compared to those who have tested positive for the virus.
The Denver Post reached out to four other hospital companies to ask if they have similar policies, but none had responded as of 4 p.m.
According to the US Department of Health and Human Services, it is considered ethical for doctors to take the patient’s likelihood of survival into account in the allocation of transplant resources.
For UCHealth, that means keeping people alive, Weaver said.
“Patients who have received a transplanted organ are at significant risk from COVID-19,” he wrote. “Should they become infected, they are at particularly high risk of serious illness, hospitalization and death. … A living donor can pass COVID-19 infection to an organ recipient, even if they initially test negative for the disease, putting the patient’s life at risk. “