A human-to-human transplantation
s or organ
s have become increasingly successful with advances in immunosuppressive
and surgical techniques, but the demand for transplantations exceeds the supply of human organs.
Organs cannot be harvested from everyone in every case. The person must still be alive, but be brain dead
in order to donate organs. They must also have healthy organs and cannot have HIV or AIDS. Their next of kin
must also agree to the organ transplant
Some tissues, which do not need as much blood circulation
, can be harvested from cadaver
s. This is called cadaveric transplantation.
Tissues That Can Be Donated:
corneas from eyes
islet cells from the pancreas
bone marrow (living donor)
Organs That Can Be Transplanted:
blood (blood transfusion)
Who Gets Transplants?
Transplants are given to patients who's organ
is permanently damaged and no longer functions, or who's organs are deteriorating and loosing function.
People of all ages are considered for transplants, but elderly patients with other chronic problems are unlikely candidates unless they are the only one with correct blood type
Sick children are often considered first for transplantations since they often have healthy bodies. The only problem being that the organs is too big.
s and non drinks are also high on the list as they are less likely to damage transplanted organs, and have higher survival
People with diseases such as Hepatitis
may receive organs, but usually from donors who had the same condition.
Those with HIV
never receive organs as performing a surgery on them is considered dangerous, and since they are chronically ill
they are the least likely to benefit from the transplant.
d (40-65) people make up the largest group receiving transplants.
These misconceptions stem mostly from lack of education
Many people don't believe that brain death is death, because they can see their loved one breathing. In many areas people have the belief that if they sign their organ donor's card that the hospital
won't try to save them and will instead let them die
so they can take their organs
Brain death is the end. There is no recovery from brain death
, and the body soon follows. It is a struggle for doctors to keep a brain dead
patient alive, as their blood pressure
, heart beat
and other vital
s become erratic.
Signing your donor card
does not mean any doctor will take less time or effort in caring for you. In fact your donor card is not enough for the hospital to take organs, they must also have consent from the next of kin
. This is why it is important to talk to your family about your wishes.
Solutions to Organ Shortage:
Living donor -- people can donate parts of their liver, bowel or lung, one kidney, or bone marrow.
Wearing a green ribbon
shows support for organ donation and transplantation.