Organ Transplants & Health Care

Organ Transplants & Health Care

Organ Transplants & Health Care
Organ transplants involve removing a diseased organ from an ill patient and replacing it with a healthy one from an altruistic deceased or living organ donor. To be eligible for an organ transplant, you must be evaluated by a medical team for suitability. If you decide to become an organ donor, it is important to inform your family and put those wishes in writing.

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    Doctors faced many ethical issues regarding organ transplants. They were concerned about potential health risks to the person providing the organ. They did not know how the donor's health would be affected.
    They wondered if it were medically ethical to perform an operation on a donor that, at best, did not serve a medical purpose for him, and at worst, could harm or kill an otherwise healthy person.
    Doctors were not sure whether it would be acceptable to risk harming the donor if, in doing so, it would save the life of someone else. 
    After consulting with a wide range of fellow doctors, attorneys and clergy members representing numerous denominations, the doctors decided the possible greater good that could occur through an organ donation outweighed the relatively low risk of extracting it.
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    An organ donor is anyone - living or dead - who provides an organ. The person receiving the organ is called a recipient. The act of collecting an organ from a donor is called retrieval, or procurement.
    Nearly anyone of age and average health can be an organ donor. People who have cancer, HIV or disease-causing bacteria in the bloodstream or body tissues, however, are exempt from organ donation. A decision about an organ's usability is made at the donor's time of death or, in the case of a living donor, during the process leading to a donation. 
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    The Scientific Registry of Transplant Recipients (SRTR) is a database which keeps track of statistical information regarding organ transplants. 
    The SRTR maintains data on each facet of the transplantation and donation process that the registry collects from hospitals, local Organ Procurement Organizations and the Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network. Researchers, analysts, policy-makers and doctors use this information to set priorities and seek improvements in the organ donation process. Arbor Research Collaborative for Health, based in Ann Arbor, Mich., maintains the database.
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    Chris Klug: After a Transplant
    Snowboarder Chris Klug talks about how to maintain your health after an organ transplant.
     
     
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    Total body donation generally is not an option if you choose to be an organ and tissue donor. However, eye donors may be accepted by most institutions. Some medical schools and research organizations do accept organ donors for research. If you wish to donate your entire body, contact the medical organization of your choice directly, and make the required arrangements. Medical schools, research facilities, and other agencies study bodies to understand how various diseases affect human beings. This research is vital to saving and improving lives.
    This answer is based on source information from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
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    A answered
    An organ transplant is surgery to replace an organ that is no longer working. Examples include, a lung, heart, liver or kidney transplant. During a transplant, the diseased organ is removed, and the new replacement organ is surgically placed into the patient's body. The new organ comes from a donor. In some cases, such as with a kidney transplant, the donor may be a "living donor." Other times, the donor is someone who has died, but who previously agreed to donate their organs. People who need organ transplants often wait a long time before a match is found. Even when a match is found, there is still a risk that their body will reject the organ. After a transplant, people take medication for the rest of their lives to prevent organ rejection.
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    A , Health Education, answered
    Organ donation is the process of removing an organ from a living or deceased donor and giving it to a patient who needs it by way of a transplant surgery.  The premise of organ donation is altruism; that is, organs are gifts from one person to another (they are not bought or sold).
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    You should ask the following questions about the cost of a transplant:
    • Will my insurance cover the cost of hospitalization, outpatient follow-up care and medications?
    • Will there be expenses out of pocket, not covered by insurance?
    • How do I qualify for assistance with the State?
    • What happens if I can’t afford my medications after a transplant?
    Many questions and concerns come to mind about affording a transplant. Few people and families are able to pay all the costs of transplantation from a single source. Most often you will rely on a combination of funding sources. 
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    A , Health Education, answered
    Never rule yourself out! People in their 80s and 90s have been organ donors. And if you can't be an organ donor, sometimes, you can be a tissue donor. If you desire to donate organs or tissue after your death, register with your state or country donor registry, or record your wishes in your Living Will.
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    A , Neurology, answered
    Depending on the cause of death, organ and tissue donation may be possible. Sometimes the knowledge that a person's organs can bring life or health to someone else later is quite meaningful to the person who is dying as well as to family members.

    If your loved one wishes to be an organ donor, have him or her fill out a universal donor card. Next of kin must consent to organ donation after a death, so be sure that the person explains his or her wishes to family members and doctors. In some cases, a home death would make organ and tissue donation impossible.

    For more information, check with the New England Organ Bank—which can also supply donor cards—or the United Network for Organ Sharing.