A teenager from Utah was denied a lung transplant after his results came out positive for marijuana consumption. Riley Hancey, a nineteen-year-old boy, was admitted after Thanksgiving due to a severe form of pneumonia which caused his lungs to collapse. Based on the information revealed by the YouCaring fundraising page the infection has severely affected Riley’s lungs, and he lost his gas exchange function.
Ridley Hancey needed a life-saving double lung transplant
Hancey needed a double lung transplant to survive. His family informed him that his pot test came out positive and specialists refused to place him on the transplant list at the University of Utah Hospital. Due to the THC substances detected in his blood, he lost his chance to benefit from a double lung transplant. Riley’s family stated that he was a normal, active teenager, always engaging in winter and summer sports. Riley worked at his brother’ ski resort, and he loved to travel.
Riley’s father noted that his son has smoked marijuana with his friends on Thanksgiving night, but before this, he was a drug-free teenager for almost a year before he was diagnosed with pneumonia. The University of Utah Hospital stated that they apply different regulations for the transplantation process of different organs considering the difficulty of the procedures, the patient’s ability to adhere to a severe care plan after the surgery and the risk of rejection.
After months of struggle, he received a new set of lungs on March 29
The hospital officials pointed out that for lung and heart transplant they need to follow some strict guidelines established by the International Society for Heart and Lung Transplantation (ISHLT). When it comes to pancreas, liver and kidney transplant, they are bound to follow regulations set by the American Society of Transplant Physicians. Specialists at the University of Utah Hospital also need to evaluate every case before putting patients on the transplant list.
These guidelines need to be honored to make sure that their patients receive suitable treatment and proper care. These transplant guidelines do not allow doctors to do organ transplants for patients with active tobacco, illicit drug and alcohol addictions.
Hancey’s family continued to fight and looked for another hospital where doctors were willing to help Riley with a double lung transplant. Two months ago, they found the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania. On March 29, Hancey underwent the life-saving surgery and now he has a new set of lungs.
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