Featured Article| Volume 224, ISSUE 4, P1104-1108, October 2022

Left digit bias in selection and acceptance of deceased donor organs


      • There was a decrease in the probability of any organ placement for donors at age 70 compared to 69.
      • After a donor's 70th birthday there was a decrease in number of organs placed.
      • These findings represent a left digit bias in the evaluation of donor organs that restricts the supply of available organs.



      Organs suitable for donation are a scarce resource and maximizing the use of available organs is a priority. We aimed to determine whether there is a supply restricting left digit bias in organs offered and accepted for donors entering a new decade of age.


      Potential deceased organ donors (n = 105,387) who had any organs offered for transplantation from 2010 to 2019 Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network data were analyzed. Donors were identified 1 year before and after a decade altering birthday.


      At age 70 there was a 5.4% decrease in the probability of any organ placement compared to 69 (95% CI 1.1–9.7). There was a decrease of 0.25 organs (95% CI 0.13–0.37) after age 70.


      There was a significant left digit bias in the acceptance of any organs for transplantation at ages 60 and 70 as well as in the acceptance of a kidney at age 70.
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