Organ donation is the donation of biological tissue or an organ of the human body, from a living or dead person to a living recipient in need of a transplantation. Transplantable organs and tissues are removed in a surgical procedure following a determination, based on the donor's medical and social history, of which are suitable for transplantation. Such procedures are termed allotransplantations, to distinguish them from xenotransplantation, the transfer of animal organs into human bodies.The demand for viable organs outweighs the supply. Statistics indicate that approximately every 18 minutes, someone is added to the national waiting list for organ transplant.In 1954, Dr. Joseph E. Murray performed the first successful kidney transplant in Boston. Since then, medical science has concentrated on organ donation as a way of replacing a recipient's dysfunctional organ with that of a healthy donor organ. TYPES OF ORGAN DONATION
The organs that can be donated include:
Patients with severe heart failure who cannot be helped any longer with medication and/or surgery may benefit from a heart transplant. Liver
Patients with liver failure may benefit from a liver transplant. Pancreas
Patients with severe diabetes or renal failure may benefit from a pancreas transplant. Kidney
Patients with kidney failure on dialysis may benefit from a kidney transplant. Most kidney donations are from donors considered brain dead however a small percentage of kidney donations come from living donors. Usually from a family member.
Patients whose lungs cannot function properly with medication and/or surgery may benefit from a lung transplant. Small Bowel (Intestine)
Patients who suffer small bowel damage, either from infection or trauma, may benefit from a small bowel transplant. Damage to the small bowel will hinder a patient from absorbing enough food to survive. ORGAN DONOR ORGANIZATIONS
Organ Procurement Organizations (OPOs) are the liaisons between the potential organ donor, the transplant center, and the recipient. Organ Procurement Organizations are the federally designated agencies throughout the United States that facilitate the organ recovery process. All OPOs are non-profit organizations. OPO directives include:
* Receiving potential donor referrals
* Evaluating the potential donor
* Discussing the option of donation with the family members * Coordinating the process of removal of the donated organs * Preservation of donated organ(s) for the recipient surgery staff * Distribution to recipient destination
In the U.S. and Puerto Rico, there are 58 Organ Procurement Organizations. ORGAN DONATION PROCESS
1. The physician pronounces brain death after evaluation, testing, and documentation of patient's condition. Each state has its own criteria for determining brain death. 2. Hospital staff refers the potential donor to the Organ Procurement Organization for the initial evaluation. 3. The OPO will then perform chart evaluation and key information gathering. This includes a thorough examination of the patient's past medical and current condition. The social history will be assessed after the family has expressed interest in the potential donation. OBTAINING CONSENT
After the OPO determines a patient meets criteria for donation, the consent process proceeds as follows: 1. Death is explained to the family. The physician or nursing staff usually informs the family of the death initially. The OPO staff ensures that the family understands the brain death situation. (The potential donor must be maintained on a ventilator so the family may believe the patient is still alive, even though brain death has been determined) 2. The options for donation are carefully explained to the family. At this point all potential donations are discussed (Tissue, Eye, Skin, etc) so the family is not approached multiple times for each...
References: 1.http://www.gavelife.org - Organization established to advocate for organ donations from prisoners.
2. http://www.organdonor.gov/. "Organ Donation." First-Gov.com, 2002.Dying & Death in Law & Medicine: a Forensic Primer for Health and Legal Professionals. Berger, Arthur S., Praeger, Arthur S., 1993.
3.The Ethics of Organ Transplants: The Current Debate Caplan, Arthur L., and Daniel H. Coelho, eds., Prometheus Books, 1999.
4. Dying & Death in Law & Medicine: a Forensic Primer for Health and Legal Professionals. Berger, Arthur S., Praeger, Arthur S., 1993.
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