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Transplant Patient Gets a New Lease of Life

donation after cardiac death organs were taken after the patient was brain dead, where there is an irreversible loss of brain activity. In these cases Blood still is circulated through the body as respiration is maintained by life support systems, preserving organs in a transplantable condition for up to several days. If the deceased was relatively young and didnt have any conditions affecting desired organs, the person is confirmed as a potential organ donor, and the family is consulted about the donation option after being told of their family members death.

Because the number of people who meet these requirements is far less than the number of people who seek organs, hospitals and organ banks are turning to lesser used procedures such as donation after cardiac death to deepen the pool of available organs. Donation after cardiac death undergoes the same procedure as brain death. Though the patient is not brain dead but the injury to the brain is so massive that patient is in a life long coma unlikely to regain back.

This has become a controversy as many people have raised an objection to it for families find it difficult to let go their loved ones. Further complicating the matter are the differing obligations of the personnel involved in the process: physicians and nurses, who have a responsibility to provide the best care for a living patient, and representatives and surgeons from an organ procurement organization, who have an obligation to find organs for as many needy people as possible.

Jennie Aungst, a nurse at Lakeland, hopes the crash brings greater awareness to organ donation. "They could be your brothers, sisters, mother's children and I just feel that people need to consider this if they haven't before because it such needed and it could be you or one of your loved ones one day that might need an organ," she said.


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