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 AS OF 04/03/13:   

4,133 FLORIDIANS

ARE ON THE TRANSPLANT WAITING LIST

    

  

 

 JUST ONE PERSON CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE IN 60 LIVES

                

   
         
         

Q’S

 

 A’s

   
         
         

 Can I become a living Donor even if I don’t know anybody that needs an organ  (Altruistic Donation) ?

 

 Yes, the most heroic of all Donations! Simply contact your local Transplant Center!

   
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  Which organs can be transplanted?

 

     The organs that can be transplanted are:

liver
kidney
pancreas
kidney/pancreas (can be transplanted at the same time)
heart
lung
heart/lung (can be transplanted at the same time)
intestine

   

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How are organs distributed? 

 

The organs are distributed locally first, and if no match is found they are then offered regionally, and then nationally, until a recipient is found. Every attempt is made to place donor organs

   
         

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What is involved in becoming a living donor? Are there resources that describe the process?

 

Living donation is arranged through individual transplant centers according to protocols they have set.

Another resource for living donors or those considering living donation is the National Kidney Foundation’s National Donor Family Council. Approximately 500 members of the National Donor Family Council and TransAction Council are living donors. Currently, they are working to develop special programs, resources, and features designed to meet the specific needs of living donors and their families. For more information, contact:

National Kidney Foundation’s National Donor Council
 (800) 622-9010
 (212) 889-2210
 donorfamily@kidney.org
 www.kidney.org/recips/donor

   

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 What Makes a Good Donor?

 

 While many people are willing to be living donors, not everyone has the qualities necessary to participate in living donation. Donors must be chosen carefully in order to avoid outcomes that are medically and psychologically unsatisfactory.

At a minimum, all potential donors must be genuinely willing to donate, physically fit, in good general health; and free from high blood pressure, diabetes, cancer, kidney disease and heart disease. Beyond these basic requirements, a representative from the transplant center will meet with the potential living donor to discuss the donor’s individual circumstances and to conduct compatibility tests.

Individuals considered for living donation are usually between 18-60 years of age. Gender and race are not factors in determining a successful match.

   

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 Are there age limits or diseases that rule out organ donation?

 

For any death where organ donation is a possibility and consent is given, there will be a medical assessment of what organs can be recovered. There are no absolute age limits to organ donation. A handful of medical conditions will rule out organ donation, such as HIV-positive status, actively spreading cancer (except for primary brain tumors that have not spread beyond the brain stem), or certain severe, current infections. However, for most other diseases or chronic medical conditions, organ donation remains possible.

Unfortunately, many people never indicate their wish to donate because they believe, falsely, that their age or medical condition would not allow them to donate. If you want to save and enhance lives through donation, the most important action you can take is to share your donation decision; if donation is not medically feasible, that determination will be made at the time of death. 

   

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How do I express my wishes to become an organ and tissue donor?

 

First, indicate your intent to be an organ and tissue donor by clicking on the link below.

Most importantly, discuss your decision to donate with your family and loved ones. 

 

Register to be an Organ Donor on-line (click here)

 

Register your Emergency Contact Information (click here) 

   
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Can I become a living Donor even if I don’t know anybody that needs an organ (Altruistic Donation)?

 

 Yes, the most heroic of all Donations! Simply contact your local Transplant Center!

   
         

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Why should minorities be concerned about organ donation?

 

Some diseases of the kidney, heart, lung, pancreas, and liver are found more frequently in racial and ethnic minority populations than in the general population. For example, African Americans, Asian and Pacific Islanders, and Hispanics are three times more likely to suffer from end-stage renal disease than Caucasians. Native Americans are four times more likely than Caucasians to suffer from diabetes. Some of these diseases are best treated through transplantation; others can only be treated through transplantation.

Successful transplantation often is enhanced by the matching of organs between members of the same ethnic and racial group. For example, any patient is less likely to reject a kidney if it is donated by an individual who is genetically similar. Generally, people are genetically more similar to people of their own ethnicity or race than to people of other races. Therefore, a shortage of organs donated by minorities can contribute to death and longer waiting periods for transplants for minorities.
 

   

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How can I receive more information about organ donation and transplantation?

 

Contact the UNOS patient services line and request an organ-specific info kit:
 (888) 894-6361    (804) 782-4800

www.unos.org
 

   

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How does the matching process work?

 

An organ is donated. When the organ becomes available, the OPO managing the donor sends information to UNOS. The OPO procurement team reports medical and genetic information, including organ size, and condition, blood type and tissue type.
UNOS generates a list of potential recipients. The UNOS computer generates a list of potential transplant candidates who have medical and biologic profiles compatible with the donor. The computer ranks candidates by this biologic information, as well as clinical characteristics and time spent on the waiting list.

The transplant center is notified of an available organ. Organ placement specialists at the OPO or the UNOS Organ Center contact the centers whose patients appear on the local list.

The transplant team considers the organ for the patient. When the team is offered an organ, it bases its acceptance or refusal of the organ upon established medical criteria, organ condition, candidate condition, staff and patient availability and organ transportation. By policy, the transplant team has only one hour to make its decision.

The organ is accepted or declined. If the organ is not accepted, the OPO continues to offer it for patients at other centers until it is placed.
To understand how patients are matched on the national waiting list, it’s helpful to think of the list as a "pool" of patients. Each time an organ becomes available, UNetsm searches the entire "pool" for the patients who are a match for the organ. A new list is made from those who match.

The patients on this new list are ranked in order of their level of match to that donor organ. The organ is offered to the transplant hospital where the first patient is listed. Other factors which may be considered are the patient’s current medical status, geographical location, and time on the list. If the organ is refused for any reason, the transplant hospital of the next patient on the list is contacted. This process continues until a match is made.
 

   

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How does whole body donation differ from organ donation? How can I get more information? 

 

 Whole body donation for research is handled differently from organ and/or tissue donation for transplantation. Often such arrangements are made through individual medical schools. There are a number of Internet resources that describe whole body donation, including the University of Miami’s site on Body Donation Programs
http://biomed.miami.edu/default.asp?p=502&s=129

   
         
         

 

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