Sunday, April 1, 2012

april is national organ donation month


we all read about sudden tragedy and accidents every day.
these events  may be turned into saving lives.
know each member of your family's wishes.
 while renewing my drivers licensee last week the clerk asked if i was an organ donor.  that got me to thinking.
people are reticent to talk about donating donors, unless they are on a list or have received an organ.
most of us dont like to face the issue of our mortality.
none of us want  to deal with the fact that we may not be here in 10 minutes.
we don't like preparing our will or buying life insurance, tasks that responsible people must do.
let's add organ donation to that list.
knowing you have carried out a family members wishes and posibly saved a life is a wonderful feeling.
there are large waiting lists.
organ donation and transplantation is something that has been not uncommon for 30 years.
heart and liver transplantation has been frequent for the past 20 years.
the transplant business is full and booming.
as painful as it is to make that decision, or to sit down and breech the topic, the pain of losing someone is onversely proportional to the happiness that that person and family on a transplant waiting list will experience.
that heart, those kidneys, the tissue, or those corneas are priceless.
it's not a horribly disgusting discussion to have.
organ harvesting is a regular routine procedures by topflight surgeons.
the deceased can have an open casket funeral.
the procedure is very respectful.
when you become a donor, don't worry about disfigurement.
people, myself included, ok with giving organs, don't want to be used as cadavers for research and training surgeons.
each state is different.
when signing the consent sheet you can specify how the organs are to be used..  you can designate NO MEDICAL SCHOOL.  it's still an individual decision.
you become a potential donor only when brain dead.  younhave to have no change of coming back to life.
once that occurs, the local organ procurement organization is given note.
they will come and manage the donor, work with the family, an pull  up the united network of organ sharing national list
right now, over 123,000 people nationallyare waiting for a tramsplant.
they will find who is next on the list using only 3 criteria.
1. how you match that organ by blood or tisue type.
2. the severity of the potential recipent's illness
3. length of time on waiting list.
there is also a thing called kidney sharing.
many hospitals will take blood types of many members of a family,  put it into a large nationwide system, and swap kidneys with others.
about 6 weeks ago, there was a nyt story about how about 60 potential donors for a relatives kidney were screened for the best match.
you can be a live liver donor.  they take part of your liver and it regeneratives in both patient and donor.   at least 2 of my friends are doing well years after this procedure.
to be a heart or lung donor, you have to pass away suddenly.
being a potential valuable organ donor will not reduce the quality of care the donor receives.
people at the hospital are there tosave your life.  a federally mandated independent organization will come in after you are declared brain dead.
there are as few shenanigans as humanly possible.
most religions endorse organ donation.   talk to your clergyman about your decision.
only about 18 per cent of potential organ donors are willing.   please have that discussion today.
i am unaware of procedures for sharing organs internationally, or of criminal trafficking, which i know  exist, but  will research and write about the matter soon.

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