Providing hope, renewing lives
Organ donation holds the key to the lives of as many as 8 other people. Those who place their names on state donor registries convey their desire to save lives through donation.
Only rarely does a patient pass away in a manner that is conducive to organ donation. More than 94,000 people in the United States are currently waiting for a life-saving organ transplant. That's why it's vitally important to indicate your wishes on donation.
The University of Kansas Hospital Transplant Program uses two types of organ donors:
- Deceased Donors
These are people who have had a catastrophic brain injury and have been declared dead by specific neurological criteria.
- Living Donors
This may be family or friends of a patient, or an individual unknown to the patient, who want to donate one of their organs for transplant. The hospital currently only uses living donors for kidney transplantation.
Cost of organ donation
There is no charge for the actual organ, which is a gift from the donor and his or her family. There are charges, however, related to evaluation of the organ, medical management of the donor and surgery to recover the organ.
These costs make up the acquisition fee charged to the transplant hospital by the organ procurement organization. This fee is passed on to the insurance company of the transplant recipient.
Identification and referral of potential organ donors
When the hospital identifies a potential organ donor, we will notify the organ procurement organization in that area. If the patient is a suitable donor, the organs are offered to the sickest patients according to size, blood type and location.
The transplant surgeon may refuse an organ that is a good match for the patient if the surgeon judges it to present a risk to the patient. Reasons for organ refusal include:
- Patient condition
The recipient may be too ill to have the surgery or may be out of town.
- Donor condition
The donor may have had some medical condition or illness which may have damaged the organ.
- Organ condition
If the organ has been outside the donor's body for a long period of time, it may not work well. The organ may be damaged during the recovery surgery, during transportation to the transplant center, or may have fatty tissue or badly formed blood vessels.
- Geographical factors
It may not be possible for the organ to arrive at the transplant center within the desired amount of time.