Organ recipients with smokers’ lungs do better than waiting

Patients who need new lungs are better off getting donated organs from smokers than none at all, even though they probably won’t live as long as those who get a lung transplant from a nonsmoker, a new study says.

Researchers say patients will survive longer if they are willing to accept lungs from anyone, including smokers. In Britain, that’s a key issue, for about 40 percent of donated lungs come from people who have previously smoked.

The study found that patients who got lungs from smokers were about 46 percent more likely to die within three years after getting the replacement lungs compared to patients who got the organs from non-smokers. But they had a 21 percent lower chance of dying versus people who were still on the waiting list. The research is published online today in the journal, Lancet.

In the U.S., doctors also use lungs from smokers, although Dr. Norman Edelman, the chief medical officer for the American Lung Association, didn’t have any data on how often that happens.


Legislation presented to force rail strikers back to work

Canada introduced legislation Monday to force striking Canadian Pacific Railway workers back to their jobs after talks stalled over the weekend, the country’s labor minister said Monday.

Labor Minister Lisa Raitt said the freight service shutdown at Canada’s second largest railway is hurting the economy.

Locomotive engineers and conductors went on strike Wednesday, shutting down freight service along nearly 14,900 miles of track in Canada and the U.S.

Raitt is hoping strikers could be back to work on Thursday.

Major points of contention in the latest strike are pensions, certain work rules and fatigue management.