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Wis. Shares Liver with Minn. Child

August 18, 1999

MADISON, Wis. (AP) _ A critically ill 8-year-old child in Minnesota received a liver from a donor in Wisconsin on Tuesday, in an example of how a proposed four-state organ-sharing agreement would work if approved by federal officials.

Wisconsin, Minnesota and North and South Dakota plan to seek federal approval of an agreement in which the four states would share livers.

The states have not yet submitted their proposal to the United Network for Organ Sharing, the agency that runs the nation’s transplant system, but in the meantime, officials say they are moving ahead with the spirit of the proposed agreement.

Under the agreement, if a state has a liver available and another state has a patient with the most urgent need for a transplant, that state would share the liver. The deal also calls for reciprocity: Minnesota will have to share a liver with Wisconsin for a similarly situated patient.

``We think the people of Wisconsin can feel very good today about sharing this life-saving liver,″ said Dr. Anthony D’Alessandro, a surgeon with the transplant center at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. ``And we look forward under this `fair-sharing’ agreement to the help we can now expect from Minnesota when a Wisconsin resident is in need.″

Details about the liver recipient were unavailable. The liver came from an 8-year-old girl who died after being hit by a car.

The child in Minnesota was not a status one patient, those patients with the most urgent need, who would generally receive livers under the organ sharing program. But in this case, Wisconsin did not have another child in need of the liver, D’Alessandro said.

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