On Sept. 9, 2022 the U.S. reached 1 million organ transplants according to the United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS). Vitalant’s human leukocyte antigen (HLA) laboratory team members contribute to the many lives touched by the gift of organ donation.
HLA typing is used to match donors and patients relying on organ or bone marrow transplants by identifying specific proteins, or markers, found in their bodies. These markers play a role in determining whether the patient’s immune system will recognize and accept the transplant or reject it.
Vitalant’s HLA laboratories perform this HLA typing for both the donor and recipient, antibody analysis and crossmatching services to determine the likelihood of the recipient successfully receiving the donor’s organ. Every year, pre-transplant work-ups are completed for approximately 700 patients and living donors by Vitalant HLA laboratories.
In partnership with physicians, hospital transplant programs, surgeons, and organ procurement organizations, Vitalant’s HLA laboratories provide this key testing and consultation to help guide critical and time-sensitive decisions for those relying on a kidney, lung or heart transplant.
These laboratories operate around the clock to quickly provide necessary testing and consultation needed to make a final decision on whether a living or deceased donor organ is acceptable for transplant into a specific patient.
“Every member of the Vitalant HLA team knows that their work is saving lives,” said Vice President of Clinical Services Administration Melissa Marlowe. “We may not be at the patient’s bedside but the timely test results we produce make positive impacts on the lives of so many in the communities we serve.”
Vitalant and our HLA laboratories are honored to play a role alongside the many partners that make organ transplant possible.
By Tesia Hummer, strategic communications manager, Vitalant