"Our sickest patients in Hawaii would have a hard time getting a liver quickly," Dr. Linda Wong of The Queen's Medical Center said. 

Dr. Linda Wong works at the Queen's Medical Center, the only liver transplant center in the Pacific where doctors save an average of 15 to 20 lives per year through liver transplants.

Wong has been following a new National policy that went into effect Tuesday that will change the way patients are selected for transplants across the nation.

"People have been trying to change how organs are allocated just to try to get organs to some of the bigger cities that apparently have higher meld scores when they are transplanted," Dr. Linda Wong said.

The policy gives priority to patients with the most need rather than the previous system which selected patients who lived nearby.

The changes affect Hawaii unlike any other state because of our location.

According to Dr. Wong, it's not all good news for those in need here.

Hawaii previously shared livers with five other states. 

"I think in the interim it is going to be better for Hawaii in that the organs that are going to be removed here are probably going to stay however it probably is going to be a little more difficult to get organs quickly if we have a sick patient," Dr. Linda Wong said.

The Queen's Medical Center sends about five to ten livers out of state per year.

Dr. Wong is currently asking for an exception for Hawaii residents that would allow them to use Seattle's SeaTac Airport as their home address so they can have continued access to donated livers in both Hawaii and the Pacific Northwest.

"We really need more organ donors in Hawaii so that there will be a constant supply of livers and kidneys for people who need it and I think for the public just trying to promote organ donation would minimize this but sometimes we can't get an organ quickly enough if we have a sick patient," Dr. Wong said.