Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Transplant headlines

Selected headlines

Medical charities enter organ donation row

From the Telegraph in the UK - The row over plans to let doctors take organs from patients without their consent has escalated after medical charities said the proposal was "not necessary".

UK Transplant, which runs the organ donation system, said the plan to presume consent could damage transplantation.

The charity said organ donation was a gift that was given altruistically. People could be offended by the idea of removing organs as a matter of course unless objections were registered by the patient's family.

Figures from the group have revealed more than 3,500 organs are lost each year because fewer than half of potential donors end up having their organs transplanted.

Around 40 per cent of families refuse to allow their loved ones' organs to be taken.

Experts last night called for better organisation to ensure that families were consulted.

Minn. woman's reply to newspaper plea for transplant saves toddler's life

From Twin Cities.com in Minnesota - A plea for help in an Owatonna newspaper turned into a lifesaving liver transplant earlier this month for a toddler with an intestinal birth defect.

Ava Cowell may only have had days to live Jan. 4 when she received a portion of a liver donated by 23-year-old Sara Kaiser, according to a surgeon with The Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha. The 18-month-old Cowell was born with volvulus, an abnormal twisting of the intestinal tubes that impairs blood flow. Her resulting dependency on IV formula for nutrition was hard on her liver and caused it to fail.

When doctors recommended a liver transplant, the Cowells sought matching donors among relatives but could find none. Desperate, the Owatonna family pursued a newspaper article a week before Christmas.

"Ava was running out of time," said her mother, Erica.

Kaiser lived in nearby Medford, but didn't know the Cowells. She read the story and offered to help. Tests confirmed she had the same blood type and her liver would be suitable for a partial transplant.

"I saw myself in Ava's mom," Kaiser recalled. "I put myself in her position."

Partial liver transplants from living donors are becoming more common, and are lowering the number of patients who die awaiting an organ for transplant. Nearly 3,500 have taken place in the U.S. since 1989, according to the United Network for Organ Sharing.

Less than 600 have involved donors who directed their organs to go to non-relatives, and far fewer involved complete strangers. Read the full article.

Sally Kaeha Transplant Fundraiser
I'm always pleased to post a plea for help with raising funds for transplant patients and their families.

Sally Kaeha
From KOHN2 TV in Hawaii -
In October 2006, the Kaeha household was turned upside down when Sally became the fourth person in her family to fall victim to an extremely rare genetic blood disease called Atypical HUS, resulting in kidney failure which a kidney transplant by itself would not be successful without a liver transplant as well.

For the last year, she has undergone dialysis treatment three times a week and has been seeking a facility with experience in kidney/liver transplant.

Unfortunately, the Hawaii Transplant Center is unable to accommodate her, but fortunately, she has been blessed with the opportunity to meet with a team of surgeons in New York in early December for an evaluation and opportunity to be placed on their waiting list.

In light of this is great news; Sally will have to relocate to New York so she is there when the donated organs become available and remain there to receive care during her recovery. This will cause substantial financial strain on the Kaeha family, therefore, we invite you to our Fundraiser for Sally:

Sunday, January 20th, 2008
2850 Paa Street (Mapunapuna area)
1:00pm - 8:00pm
Donation: $25.00 per person

Our fundraiser will include a Pupu-Style Buffet, Live Entertainment, No-Host Cocktails, Karaoke, Door Prizes, and Raffle Drawings.

Thank you in advance for your support and generous donation. With your kokua, we can all be witness to the powerful and healing spirit of aloha that we are all so blessed to have living here in Hawaii. Contact Joanne Higashi, 808-696-7657.

“You Have the Power to Save Lives – Sign Your Donor Card & Tell Your Loved Ones of Your Decision”

Download Donor Cards from Trillium Gift of Life Network

Download Donor Cards from OrganDonor.Gov

Your generosity can save up to eight lives through organ donation and enhance another 50 through tissue donation

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