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Special Report |

Liver Transplantation*: A Critical Care Physician’s Personal Odyssey

Robert D. Brandstetter, MD, FCCP
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*From the Department of Medicine, Sound Shore Medical Center of Westchester, New Rochelle, NY.

Correspondence to: Robert D. Brandstetter, MD, FCCP, Department of Medicine, Sound Shore Medical Center of Westchester, 16 Guion Place, New Rochelle, NY 10802



Chest. 1999;116(3):789-791. doi:10.1378/chest.116.3.789
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Having recently undergone successful orthotopic liver transplantation for sclerosing cholangitis, I can now reflect on my experience and response to the management of my condition and the associated pulmonary complications. As a critical care physician, I had participated in numerous brain death declarations, and now I found myself the grateful recipient of some other physician’s efforts in harvesting a liver from a generous donor. The transformation from physician to patient was not simple, with uncertainty and fear often dominating my emotions. Occasionally my knowledge of the likely effects of medications, and the morbidity of the complications I suffered was beneficial. More often than not, however, I worried needlessly in anticipation of the worst-case scenario, which fortunately never came! The following are some examples of the pros and cons of knowing “too much” in response to events that occurred in my postoperative period:

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