Organ Donors Give the Gift of Life
Organ transplantation has given many people new leases on life, allowing them to continue living productive lives. Unfortunately, there is a shortage of donors, which has resulted in many patients passing away before receiving a transplant. Over 100,000 Americans are currently waiting for a kidney, heart, lung, liver, or pancreas transplant—a person can wait up to 503 days for a heart and up to 2,446 days for a transplant liver.
Organ donation and transplantation is very carefully regulated. The candidates for organ transplantation are carefully evaluated by a physician and a transplant team before their names can be submitted for surgery. These teams usually consist of a surgeon, a specialty physician, a psychologist, pastoral care staff, a nurse, the health care plan’s case manager, and a social worker. Before the transplant, candidates are usually treated with counseling and given advice about exercise, diet, and other lifestyle changes that occur after the procedure.
Life-long doses of anti-rejection medications are necessary after any organ transplant, which may cause a number of different side-effects. Organ recipients must monitor their eating habits, exercise regimen, and overall health very closely, but they can otherwise live normal and active lives.
The sooner a surgeon can get a donated organ to a sick patient, the better their chances for survival. Although most people support the idea of organ donation, lack of communication and misinformation prevent many from donating. Anyone can become a donor, and donation costs nothing. If you would like to learn more about giving someone else a fighting chance for life, contact Riverside Community Hospital at (951) 788-3000.