organ transplant awareness, organ transplant education, organ transplant, organ donor education, organ donor awareness, survival rate organ transplant, becoming organ donor, organ donor fundraising

Our Mission is to change the reality of those who wait for life saving organs through education and awareness. Increasing the survival rate and quality of life for people in need; while greatly reducing the waiting period for transplantation, are achievable goals.

 
 
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How Organ Donation Works

Organ donation is the process of giving an organ or a part of an organ for the purpose of transplantation into another person.

In order for a person to become an organ donor, blood and oxygen must flow through the organs until the time of recovery to ensure viability. This requires that a person die under circumstances that have resulted in an irreparable neurological injury, usually from massive trauma to the brain such as aneurysm, stroke or automobile accident. Only after all efforts to save the patient’s life have been exhausted, tests are performed to confirm the absence of brain or brain stem activity, and brain death has been declared, is donation a possibility. The state donor registry is searched to determine if the patient has personally consented to donation. If the potential donor is not found on the registry, his or her legally authorized representative (usually a spouse, relative or close friend) is offered the opportunity to authorize the donation. Once the donation decision is established, the family is asked to provide a medical and social history.

Once a deceased organ donor is identified, a transplant coordinator starts accessing the UNet system which is a centralized computer network to indentify a transplant candidate. The system then generates a rank list of patients who are suitable to receive the organs. Factors that affect the ranking are:

  • Blood Type
  • Length of time on the waiting list
  • Tissue match
  • The time it will take between donor and potential recipient
  • Medical urgency

Once the ranked list is generated, the donated organ is offered to the first patient’s transplant center. However, the first person on the ranked list may not receive the organ due to several factors which are evaluated before the organ is officially given to that person. The organ procurement organization selects the appropriate candidate based on:

  • Is the patient healthy enough to be transplanted?
  • Is the patient available and willing to be transplanted immediately?

Once the appropriate candidate is located, the organ procurement organization takes the organ and delivers it to the transplant center where the transplant will be performed. This entire process must occur very quickly as organs are only transplantable for a short time period after they’ve been removed.

Organ donations not only come from deceased donors, they can come from a living donor. Living donation takes place when a live person donates an organ for transplantation to another person. Organs that come from a living donor are kidney, part of a lung, liver and pancreas.

After the transplant, the patient will have a long road to recovery. Regardless of how well the surgery goes, the patient still faces the possibility of the body rejecting the new organ. Rejection is not good for transplant success because the body thinks the new organ is a virus or bacteria.