Are You A Donor?Posted: 28 September 2012
I was recently in the hospital to have a couple of screws removed in my leg and the rest were to be snugged up….well I was talking with one of the nurses, to be honest she was a red head and really cute, so that was enough to strike up a conversation. She asked me if I was a donor. I answered honestly and said NO. She went off on the usual con about the lives that the organs will save and that we all should do what we can to help others……yada…yada……she made a good case….but….I had to let her have it!
I waited until she had finished the snow job and then I replied. The medical profession wants me to donate my organs to help others live, right? Then do hospitals donate their time and space? Do doctors donate their time and expertise? Do people get bumped off the transplant list because they do not have the money?
I smiled and said when a person gets it all free and no one has to wait because they do not have the cash…then sweetheart you can have everything I have….but since that is not gonna happen the profession can kiss my butt!
I digress……seeing this story made me think about the donor thingy….this was in The Week magazine…..
In the United States last year, more than 4,700 people died waiting for a lifesaving kidney transplant. Yet in each of the past five years, more than 2,600 kidneys recovered from deceased donors wound up going to waste, highlighting an inefficient donor-matching system in drastic need of an overhaul. What can health regulators change to ensure the much-needed organs go to people in dire need? Here, a brief guide to the problem:
Why are the kidneys thrown away?
“Some kidneys are in pristine condition when they are donated,” says Art Caplan at NBC News, “some are not.” Many donor kidneys have health problems that are only discovered after donors have died. And yet, many experts agree that a “significant number of discarded kidneys — perhaps even half, some believe — could be transplanted” if the system for allocating them did a better job of matching faster, says Kevin Sack at The New York Times.
How does the current system work?
For the past 25 years, it’s largely been a case of “first come, first served,” says Sack. The government’s Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network, which tracks the more than 93,000 people in need of a transplant, divides the country into 58 donation districts. When a kidney becomes available, the rules stipulate that it be offered first to the candidate in the area who has waited the longest. Extra consideration is given to children, to candidates whose blood chemistry is hard to match, and to recipients who match up well with the donor. If no recipient is found, the electronic search expands to the region before going national.
What’s wrong with that?
The outdated system fails to take into account the projected life expectancy of the recipient or the urgency of the transplant, unlike current systems for heart and lung donors. (For example, sometimes younger, healthier kidneys go to recipients who only have a few years left to live.) Some argue that record-keeping is imprecise, and the relatively short window of organ procurement — surgeons can only keep a kidney “on ice” for 24 to 36 hours — gives busy hospitals an hour or so to respond. In 2011, for example, 2,644 of the 14,784 kidneys recovered from donors were thrown away (18 percent), according to the United Network for Organ Sharing. Nearly 500 of those were not transplanted because a recipient could not be found in time.
I stand by my condemnation of the donor system….the idea is a good one but it is gamed and the cash gets the organ……..my donation will NOT make some goon more wealthy!