Info on Organ Donation

Posted by: lesh

Info on Organ Donation - 10/22/02 02:50 AM

In light of recent events - I thought I would post a source of information for anyone who is not yet an organ donor and might want to know more about it. There are a great many sources of this information available - these are but two of them...<br><br><br>[color:red]Share Your Life</font color=red><br><br><br>[color:red]The Donor Zone</font color=red><br><br>
Posted by: yoyo52

Re: Info on Organ Donation - 10/22/02 02:57 AM

In Pennsylvania the driver's license application form allows you to become an organ donor automatically. So right above my name and address on the driver's licence is the legend [color:green]ORGAN DONOR</font color=green>. Given the incredibly neanderthal policies of this state (our ex-governnor was Tom "Brow" Ridge --actually he was a pretty good governor on the whole) that's really a good, easy way to do what's right.<br><br>Great wits are sure to madness near allied.--John Dryden, "Absalom and Achitophel"
Posted by: iRock

Re: Info on Organ Donation - 10/22/02 03:01 AM

It has been on our driver's license in Washington for a while. I always sign it and I don't specify so that anything they can find a use for is included. <br><br>Cheers, iRock<br>"Even though Mac Users may be only 10% of the market, always remember that we are the TOP 10%"<br>-Douglas Adams
Posted by: MacGizmo

Re: Info on Organ Donation - 10/22/02 07:04 AM

Thank you so much for posting this. <br><br>Here is some information that they may or may not tell you on that site (I haven't read through it). I don't know if this is the case for EVERY instance, but this is basically what was explained to me in the hospital, and the process my family and I went through.<br><br>When you sign on your license to be a donor, what you are essentially doing is saying "please keep my "body" alive, even if I am brain dead (which is to say, legally dead). Kate was declared legally dead at 2:45 a.m., however she was kept on a ventilator and oxygen continued to be pumped into her heart throughout the remainder of the morning and into the afternoon, until they could find a match for her organs based on blood & tissue samples, AND fly the doctors to Phoenix from wherever the recipients are located. Once the doctors arrive they perform a surgery which allows the doctors to visually inspect the organs to make sure there is no damage.<br><br>However, BEFORE any of that happens, the family is contacted (if not already present) and brought in to the hospital, they are informed of the process of donating and you will be asked to fill out a form before the process begins.<br><br>This form takes approximately a half hour or more to complete and asks extremely personal and sensitive questions such as the deceased' sexual history, drug use, mental state, family relationships, history of any abuse by self or others, medical history, hobbies, and various other things. Of course they are trying to get as much info as possible about the donor to better guage what kind of condition the organs may be in BEFORE they perform the surgery to remove the organs.<br><br>I certainly don't mean to "discourage" in ANY WAY being a donor, but it is something that most people don't know, and it catches you off guard when they start asking questions such as "has your daughter had sex with someone of the same gender who also may have had anal sex with someone of the opposite gender in the last 5 years." Of course the questions are "to the best of your knowledge" questions, but they are difficult to answer when you are in the condition you are in at that time. It tends to put thoughts in your head, and while I was fairly certain of all our answers, it DOES allow thoughts to enter your mind as to how well you really knew your loved one. To make matters more difficult, the form is not "filled out" but rather the representative sits you down and asks you these questions as she notes your answers.<br><br>Essentially, that is the process. Once the form is completed, they begin testing tissue and making phone calls. As I mentioned in my earlier post, we knew by later that morning that they were able to use several organs... it goes that quick.<br><br>Despite the somewhat emotionally difficult to handle process to get the ball rolling, the rewards by far outweigh it!<br><br>
Posted by: margadagio

Re: Info on Organ Donation - 10/22/02 07:23 AM

Thank you for your info. It is something I hope I would never have to deal with but you never know. My daughter, Melly, was quite shook up with the news of Kate. She had always put off signing the donor part of her license, thought it was creepy. I was pleased your sad story changed her mind.<br><br><br><br>
Posted by: MacGizmo

Re: Info on Organ Donation - 10/22/02 07:31 AM

<blockquote><font size=1>In reply to:</font><hr><p>I was pleased your sad story changed her mind.<p><hr></blockquote><p>As am I.<br><br>
Posted by: Shooshie

Re: Info on Organ Donation - 10/22/02 08:48 AM

My wife has worked in the transplant unit at her hospital for over ten years. She is an RN. Naturally, she's had a lot of experience with donors and recipients of organs. Also, there is a Transplant Society which she is a member of, and they have meetings and guest speakers. The news about Jim's sister, Kate, got us to talking about these things. My wife had some interesting comments. Please read with an open mind and understand that it's the composite experience of many professionals over many years of working with transplant patients. She says that first of all, heart and lung transplants are diminishing in number, relative to other types of treatment, because those are the least viable of the transplanted organs. Even if the organs themselves are strong, the anti-rejection drugs--cyclosporin was the main one she mentioned--tend to cause brainreactions after several years. For some reason, heart/lung transplant patients seem more susceptible to this than other types. <br><br>Secondly, regarding donors and recipients getting together, they tend to keep that information secret (though it's not hard to find out if you really want to know) because it has created problems in the past. The typical problem has been that the donor's family sometimes becomes emotionally attached to the recipient. And who wouldn't? That's a powerful bond, and the recipient--though very grateful--may not understand the sudden attraction. In some extreme cases donor's families have pressured the recipient for some sort of compensation; possibly to the point of extortion. That, of course, is rare, but it has happened. <br><br>As regards the sudden changes in cravings and habits experienced by the recipients, it turns out that there have been studies, and some of the guest speakers at the Transplant Society's meetings have talked about this. Yes, there is a definite correlation. It is strongest among heart recipients, but other organs carry it to some extent. As to why this happens, I don't know the answers. Maybe nobody does. Or maybe the answer is so obvious we just find it difficult to believe. And maybe this is the reason the hospitals tend to shield the privacy of the recipients. <br><br>I find that comforting. I'm never happy to hear of some scientist who thinks he's got the human mind/spirit thing all figured out (on closer inspection they're always just speculating), and this pushes the door back open to the mysteries of how our bodies, minds, and spirits work. Any theory that ties it all up will have to deal with transplants and the changes in personality that occur in recipients who have received them. It's not random change, but very definite tendencies which are "inherited" from the donor. Should we say that the donor continues to live in some small way? Obviously, a part of them does. How that part of them brings over a tiny portion of their personality we may never know, but evidence seems to support that as being the case.<br><br>What a strange and wonderful world we live in!<br><br>Shooshie<br><br>Shooshie's Stuff
Posted by: lesh

Re: Info on Organ Donation - 10/22/02 02:15 PM

Hi Jim - I was just at a loss as to what little bit I could do to help - I hoped that by posting the links the info might help convince at least a few more folks to sign donor cards. Your input as well as Shooshie's adds a bit that I'm not sure is written about in those sites. <br><br>If Kate possessed any measure of the exuberance of spirit that seems to be a large part of who you are - may that be what manifests itself in those who have received parts of her physical being.<br><br>Other than that - all I can offer are my thoughts of strength and comfort, a couple dozen virtual hugs and a few loud WHATS?<br><br>