Did you know that the need for liver transplants because of alcohol use has almost doubled since 2002?
Alcohol-associated liver disease (ALD) actually is now ahead of hepatitis C. This means it is now the most common reasons for liver transplants. Hepatitis C used to hold that title.
Hepatitis C is not as common now because of the different therapies developed. But it is more than just that. It is most likely because it is no longer a rule that patients cannot have had alcohol within six months before a liver transplant.
That used to be a requirement to receive a new liver.
Transplants needed due to ALD went from 24 percent to 27 percent in an eight-year span. Then it jumped another ten percent drastically to 2016. That was a considerable increase.
It used to be that you had to abstain from alcohol use for six months before surgery. If you ever had a glass of champagne, it would show up in your system on a test. If it showed on your tests that you used alcohol you had to start over from scratch.
This means that you would have to wait another six months. This was often controversial because sometimes people didn’t have another six months to wait. They might need the liver transplant soon or else die.
It could be hard for people to abstain from alcohol. Especially when their life is in such turmoil. When someone is ill or even dying they might just want to be normal for a minute. During the holidays is the hardest time to abstain because everyone has alcohol and it is a celebration.
There was a lot of conflict because of this requirement and a lot of guilt.
Now that it is no longer an issue we now see how many people might have been dying because of ALD who weren’t given a fair chance at getting a new liver.
This is also a subject of an argument that people who harmed their livers themselves shouldn’t be on the transplant risk. They could ruin a new liver with alcoholism is what people say.