Partnership looking into emergency organ donor response
| 06.04.2008 | 08:53:48 | Views: 4996 | ID:
June 4 '08: In New York City, the New York Times reported a new federal grant from the Health Resources and Services Administration which will fund "a team of medical experts and bioethicists ... looking to expand the city's donor pool by deploying a 'rapid organ-recovery ambulance' to collect and preserve the organs of people who die of cardiac arrest." If successful, the new program could add as many as 22,000 people to the nation's donor pool.
Dr. Lewis R. Goldfrank, the director of emergency medicine at Bellevue Hospital Center and who is leading the program told the Times, "I see this as a continuum for saving lives. ... To see people die every year who are waiting on organ-donor lists and people die who are potential donors, seems a mismatch between societal needs and societal values."The Times reported, "New York's recovery ambulance is inspired by a donor-detected program started in 1989 in Spain, which now has the highest organ-donation rate in the world. In the past two decades, Spain has tripled organ donation to 35 donors per million people, significantly shrinking its waiting list. In the United States, there were 23 donors per million people in 2007, according to the organization Donate Life America, with roughly 99,000 people waiting." According to the Times, during an emergency EMS is called at the same time that the emergency donor ambulance is called. If EMS fails to recover the person, declaring them dead "instead of transporting the body to a funeral home or the medical examiner's office, the organ-recovery team would wait five minutes, then begin running fluids into the body to preserve organs and prevent blood clots. A medic would administer chest compressions to maintain minimal blood flow, and the body would be taken to [the] hospital. Transplants would happen only if the next of kin agreed and organs were health." At the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, a similar project is being developed for those who die in the hospital, the Times reported. National Blueprint Tags: Response & Containment, Public Health & Medical. Related Story: Atlanta partnership seen as best practice model for EMS cardiac response.
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