Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Transplants save lives. But getting organs to those in need is complicated

River to River, hosted by Ben Kieffer

A policy change means more organs are going to more highly populated areas, and fewer are staying in Iowa.

A year ago, Dustin Ihle was diagnosed with cirrhosis of the liver, and his life changed forever. Ihle, who is in need of a liver transplant, joins this episode of River to River to discuss his diagnosis, what it was like to get on the liver transplant list, and his volunteer work with Iowa Donor Network.

Later in the episode, professionals working in the donor field talk about the logistics of organ donations and transplants, and a recent policy that changes how and where organs are distributed. The acuity circles policy has made it more difficult for some Iowans to get the organs they need.


  • Dustin Ihle, IDN volunteer and on the waitlist for a liver transplant
  • Suzanne Conrad, CEO, Iowa Donor Network
  • Nicole Patterson, transplant nurse manager
Ben Kieffer is the host of IPR's River to River
Caitlin Troutman is a talk show producer at Iowa Public Radio