Monday, January 12, 2009

Organ and Brain Donation

I seem to be linking to others in my recent posts:) It's all about sharing the wealth.

Organ donation is a very touchy subject for many and I wanted to touch on a few highlights to help you make the decision that is right for you. I also learned today from Dr. David Thomas that brain donation is not included in organ donation, so I found some interesting items on this that I want to share.

There are several different types of organ donation and I have listed them below and a brief explanation of each to help you make an informed decision.

The first thing I want to make you aware of is that there is no cost incurred by you as an organ donor. I have found that most people think if you decide to donate your organs, you or your estate has to shoulder the cost. This is simply not true. The only exception would be a living donor may have difficulties if they do not have the sick time or some type of long term/short term disability to cover them during their time away from work.

1. Organ Donation After Cardiac Death - This was used in the beginnings of organ donation before brain death was a criteria. Basically, this means that you are on some type of life support and there is no chance for recovery. Your family may decide to donate your organs after cardiac death.

Life support is disconnected in the operating room not the hospital room. The surgical team waits to make sure your heart is no longer beating before taking your organs. You must be pronounced by a Doctor from the hospital not the organ recovery team.

This type of donation usually only recovers the liver and kidneys due to the fact that the rest of your viable organs cannot tolerate being without blood flow.

2. Organ Donation After Brain Death - This type of donation is what you agree to when you sign the back of your Driver's License. You are pronounced when there is no brain activity instead of no cardiac activity. Life support is removed during the recovery surgery.

3. Living Related Donation - This type of organ donation involves giving a kidney etc. to a loved one.

4. Altruistic Living Organ Donation - This type of donation is similar to #3 except neither the donor nor the recipient know one another.

Since this post ran longer than I anticipated, I will be covering Brain Donation in my next post. I will also do a post on the religious aspects of organ donation so stay tuned!

If you want to read more on the types or organ donations available, you can go here.


Post a Comment

Template by:
Free Blog Templates