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Organ Donation: Facts, Risk Factors, Research

Practiced for over 50 years, organ transplantation saves lives and significantly improves the quality of life of patients, who are increasingly likely to need a transplant. In 2015, 21,464 people were waiting for a transplant. Yet nearly three possible levy rejected, often for lack of information. Here’s what to know about organ donation.

Organ Donation: How to know about who wants to donate organs?

The only way to know that you want to give your organs is to tell your loved ones. Indeed, it is to them that medical teams will pose the question.

  • Is the donor card useful?

The donor card has no legal value and is rarely found at the time of death.

  • What presumed consent?

In France, everyone could donate organs by default. However, everyone is free to object to donating his organs. If you are against, simply tell your loved ones or to register for the national register of refusals, as medical teams consult before undertaking any collection. So remember to clearly express your choice to your loved ones, because it’s very difficult for them to make a decision urgently, without knowing your opinion.

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Organ donation, we can do better

Simple, inexpensive measures could save hundreds of lives in Canada. Back in July 2004, the young 25-year-old woman spent her days in bed in the room dated and depressing it occupies nine months at the hotel. Valerie had cystic fibrosis. The diagnosis came at the age of 19 months. This incurable disease affects a newborn in 3600 in Canada. It causes a thickening of the mucus secreted in the sinuses, lungs, intestine, pancreas, liver, and reproductive system, causing progressive destruction of the respiratory and digestive tracts. Valerie health began to decline during adolescence. There are already 14 months she placed on a provincial waiting list for a transplant because his lung capacity was 30%. She is only 17% in 2004.

To extend the life from five to six years, there was a solution: receiving two lungs from a deceased donor of the same blood group and that of similar size – it measures 1.62 m and weighs 54 kg. “I’m afraid I do not make it to the graft. Two of my friends died in recent weeks, while they were waiting for a transplant. Sign your organ donation card! “Implores Valerie, between coughs.

For the young woman, the time is short. Six months earlier, it was withdrawn 71 cm blocked intestine, a side effect of its powerful drugs. She then stopped breathing. After her resuscitation, she dictated her last will to her mother. She wanted to expose in the medieval dress, a rosary in her hands, and that her funeral celebrated in the chapel of the Hotel-Dieu.

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Organ Donation: More Follows

A few days ago, she said goodbye to her family. “Mom, will you be disappointed if I’m not going through?

  • The decision to abandon yours. You were beaten so badly,” said Christiane Mouton, broken heart.

Then, on 16 July 2004, her pulmonologist, Dr. Yves Berthiaume, bursts into her room: “We have a donor!” Adrenaline floods Valerie. She sees revive. Onboarding the ambulance that will take her to the hospital Notre-Dame du CHUM, the only center of lung transplants in Quebec, Valerie gives a thumbs up in victory. “It was my last chance! Death made me afraid.” After a delicate operation seven hours, Dr. Pasquale Ferraro told her parents that the transplant was successful until Valerie makes a stroke. The left side of her body paralyzed. A few days later, she was able to move with an ambulatory, but months of physiotherapy needed. Five weeks later, she returns home. Today, Valerie Mouton defy the statistics and celebrates its 10th anniversary of transplantation.

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What happens to the body of the organ donor?

Organ harvesting takes place in the same way as an operation on a living person. The incisions closed with stitches. After the operation, the body dressed and returned to the family. No scar is visible and no fees requested to the family.

Organ Donation


Donating organs and giving the body to science, are they the same?

Giving body to medicine is not a donation. In this case, the body is not returned to the family, and the gift is only possible if the person registered with a medical school.

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Can you be an organs donor if you are sick?

Anyone, regardless of age, health status, or sexual orientation, is considered as a potential organ donor. In principle, it is possible to donate organs when sick, and even if one is undergoing treatment. These are the doctors who will judge, case by case, depending on the state of the organ or tissue and the overall health of the donor at death.

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May the donor’s family contact the recipients?

The donor family is not able to contact the recipient, and transplant recipients may not know their donors. It is the rule of anonymity between donor and recipient.

Can we donate organs while alive?

One can donate organs while alive. In 2013, the gift of living involved 8% of total transplants performed in France. It generally relates to kidney donation. To donate an organ while alive, you either have a family relationship or an emotional connection “strong and stable.” This type of donation is framed as a check that the donor understands all the issues and risks of the operation and that he was under no pressure from the entourage.

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What are the most transplanted organs?

The most transplanted organs in France in 2015 were the kidney, liver, heart, and lung. The kidney is the organ most grafted, it concerned 3486 transplants in 2015 in France, with a 72% increase in 15 years. The liver, meanwhile, involved 1,355 grafts; heart, lung, and 471, 345. In 2015, 5746, patients transplanted in France.

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Organ Donation: inexpensive measures could save hundreds of lives in Quebec

A pilot project established in June 2013 probably played a significant role in this increase. The Hospital of the Sacred Heart of Montreal joined the eight hospitals allowed to take samples of organs distributed between Sherbrooke, Quebec, and Montreal. But unlike other hospitals, it can receive within one hour donors from different regions. Some 200 health workers take turns to ensure continuity of service, which costs about $2.5 million per year. Against all the odds, there were 55 donors in one year and 198 bodies saved.

“Through our unique concept in Quebec, says the initiator of the project, Dr. Pierre Marsolais, internal medicine specialist at the intensive care unit of the Sacred Heart hospital, we could harvest the organs of 17 patients that would otherwise be rejected. “Because the rules often prohibit transplantation. It has refused 346 donors in 2013. They had, among other communicable diseases such as HIV, or cancer, serious medical history, or their organs were not appropriately preserved.

Organ Donation: Brain Death 

Barely 1% of Quebecers who died meet the medical and legal criteria of a donor. The brain death happens when the brain is irreparably damaged, or cardiovascular death. More than half of the donors die from stroke, other head injuries, and anoxia, a lack of oxygen to the brain. “A person can give up to eight organs, said Dr. Marsolais. Despite this, it usually manages to take three or four.” Only 25% of the lungs used because they are incredibly fragile. To increase this percentage, the CHUM has just acquired two ex vivo perfusion devices purchased at the cost of $ 400 000 in Sweden, to preserve organs better. “We can achieve up to 12 additional transplants a year,” said Dr. Ferraro.

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