BACKGROUND: Right now, there are nearly 100,000 people in the United States waiting for an organ transplant. Waiting for an organ can be long and agonizing for many patients. Some people wait as long as eight to 10 years for a transplant. Blood types must match and doctors need to make sure the recipient won't reject the donor organ. There are several organs that can be donated for transplantation. These include the heart, kidneys, liver, lungs, pancreas and small intestine. Depending on the type needed, organs can be transplanted from a living or deceased donor.
PLASMAPHERESIS: Plasmapheresis is the removal, treatment and return of the components of blood plasma from blood in circulation. It is a technology used to remove all of the components of blood plasma that may attack a mismatched organ. For example, the technology was used on Anthony Waters at University Hospital in Cincinnati. Waters needed a liver transplant. With just 72 hours left to live, one became available, but it didn't match. After using plasmapheresis, Waters' body accepted the organ.
LIVING DONATIONS: There are currently not enough organs donated by deceased donors to meet all the needs of patients waiting for an organ transplant. Over the last few years, transplant surgeons throughout the country have developed new techniques and procedures to save more patients' lives through living donor transplants. It is now possible for living humans to donate a kidney, a portion of their liver, a portion of their lung, and in some rare instances, a portion of their pancreas. Living donor transplants can be better for certain patients. For example, kidneys from a living donor last about five years longer than those from a deceased donor.
PAIRED DONATION: Paired donation provides a solution for patients whose donors do not have the right blood type or are incompatible. A transplant candidate and his incompatible volunteer donor are matched with another pair. The intended recipient of each donor is incompatible with the intended donor in the arrangement but compatible with the other donor. It's basically like a kidney "swap." If you are in this situation, you and your volunteer donor can participate in a paired donation program. Your transplant program can register you and your kidney donor in a paired donation program. "What makes the program so successful is having a larger pool of potential donors," Tom Chin, M.D., a transplant surgeon at Florida Hospital in Orlando, Fla., told Ivanhoe.
For More Information, Contact:
Florida Hospital Transplant Center
WEB: FH Transplant.
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