Diana among 1,600 New Yorkers waiting for liver transplant

Times Herald-Record | Chris McKenna
Date unclear as demand far exceeds supply Photo: Ed Diana, second from right, plans to keep working until his surgery. He's shown here Oct. 29 at the Emergency Services Center in Goshen.TOM BUSHEY/Times Herald-Record

Orange County Executive Ed Diana's announcement on Wednesday that he needs a new liver puts him in the company of almost 1,600 New Yorkers awaiting liver transplants with varying degrees of urgency.

How long each must wait for a donor with the same blood type and body size is unpredictable. At his news conference, Diana said his call could come any day or might take months, although the wait is often longer. Seventy percent of people needing new livers in New York's transplant region have waited a year or more, and more than a quarter of them have been on a waiting list for at least five years, according to the Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network.

Doctors have scored the severity of each candidate's liver ailment, and the sickest are considered first when a donated liver becomes available.