The Journal of Heart and Lung Transplantation
International Society for Heart and Lung Transplantation.
Original Clinical Science| Volume 42, ISSUE 3, P345-353, March 2023

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Heart transplant offers are less likely to be accepted on weekends, holidays, and conferences

Published:November 02, 2022DOI:


      The existence of a “weekend effect” in heart transplantation (HTx) is understudied. The present study sought to determine whether the odds of (HTx) offer acceptance differed for adult and pediatric candidates depending upon the day on which the offer occurred.


      United Network for Organ Sharing data were used to identify all HTx offers to adult (listing age ≥18) and pediatric candidates from 2000-2019. Odds of offer acceptance were studied, comparing weekends, holidays, and conferences (Society of Thoracic Surgeons [STS], American Association for Thoracic Surgery [AATS], International Society for Heart and Lung Transplantation [ISHLT]) to “baseline” (all other days). Multivariable binary logistic regression analyses were performed to determine independent predictors of offer nonacceptance, controlling for the impacts of program transplant volume, region, and candidate characteristics.


      A total of 323,953 offers occurred – 298,405 to adults and 25,548 to pediatric candidates. Clinically significant differences did not exist in donor or candidate characteristics between baseline or other events. The number of offers per day was stable throughout the year for both adults (p = 0.191) and pediatrics (p = 0.976). In adults, independently lower odds of acceptance existed on weekends (OR 0.88 [95% CI 0.84-0.92]), conferences in aggregate (0.86 [0.77-0.95]), and holidays in aggregate (0.81 [0.72-0.91]). In children, independently lower odds of acceptance were seen on weekends (0.88 [0.79-0.98]), during STS (0.46 [0.25-0.83], and during Christmas (0.32 [0.14-0.76]).


      The day on which a HTx offer occurs significantly impacts its likelihood of acceptance. Further work can determine the impacts of human behavior or resource distribution, but knowledge of this phenomenon can inform efforts to ensure ideal organ allocation throughout the year.



      AATS (American Association for Thoracic Surgery), CI (confidence interval), ISHLT (International Society for Heart and Lung Transplantation), PTR (Potential Transplant Recipient), UNOS (United Network for Organ Sharing), STS (Society of Thoracic Surgeons.)
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