Organ donation from drug overdose could reduce the number of patients waiting a transplant

Organ transplant is a surgery in which an organ from one person is transplanted in the body of another person. Different types of organ transplants are kidney, heart, lungs, liver and even body parts can be transplanted. An organ can be donated after death of person or even by living persons. A competent team of health professionals under strict medical surveillance performs the operation.

In many countries an increasing trend of organ donation by drug overdose donors is increasing in comparison to past few decades. This is because there is a huge gap between supply and demand of life saving organs donation. A recent study states that the death toll due to drug overdose in United States has caused an increased organ donation. Breaking the stigma that having an organ being donated by a drug abuser is dangerous, the transplants from these donors are proving successful. This news is quite hopeful for many patients who are in dire need of organ transplant.

Doctor And Nurse Suture Patient In Emergency Room
Doctor And Nurse Suture Patient In Emergency Room (Credits: iStock Images under standard license)

Vickey keene is one such patient who urgently needs a lung transplant. Keene has left only 15% of her lungs. It  means if she would not be able to have a lung transplant, she may die within a few years. Keene has been working at a coal yardshovelling coal and some similar work for the last thirteen years. Her duties involved close contact with the dust and coal particles. She was diagnosed with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease almost seven years ago.

There is a huge number of people , about 115,000 who are in wait of an organ transplant in the United States of America. Virginia is also one of the states which are in dire need of transplant centres. It is quite difficult to know the exact number of patients needing an organ transplant because this state has only one transplant center. This centre is only specialized in the kidney transplant. All patients other than kidney transplantpatients, have to go out to the other states. See list of top heart transplant centers in world.

Who can donate an organ?

For many years the Center for Disease Control has not allowed the organ donation from drug abusers , considering the fear of transmission of disease. These drug overdose users are have been considered as high risk for decades.

For many years, overdose abusers, gay men, prostitutes, HIV, hepatitis C patients were not considered suitable for organ donation and their organs were disposed off instead of giving to patients.

According to restrictions made byOrgan Donor .gov only 1 out of 3000 people die in a way that is necessary for a person to be an organ donor. Therefore these limitations created a huge gap between donors and patients in need of transplant.

The circumstancesnecessary for a person to be an organ donor are quite narrow. In the state of West Virginia, it is necessary for a person to die in hospital and should be declared dead either by stopped breathing or by brain death.

Therefore, according to the specifications of the Center for Organ Recovery and Education, only two percent of the total people dying all around the world can be the donors of organs. See well searched list of best liver cancer hospital in the world.

Organ donation by an Overdose donor is safe or not?

According to community outreach coordinator,  Katelynn Metz from CORE. Like every other death, when the person passes away from overdose , the patient is brought to the hospital. Various tests are performed on his body for a few days confirming about the brain death and no chances of healing in the future.

The dead person is also being tested by health professionals for various infectious diseases. Even after having satisfactory results recipient has a full choice to whether accept or reject the organ from the overdose donor. It is solely the decision of recipient to accept or wait for another healthy donor to come.

The major set back regarding the use of these organs is fear of infectious disease transmission among the recipients. But this point has been rejected by the researchers of Anals of Medicine. A recent study has clarified that the chances of disease transmission are extremely low. In fact the overdose donors are unfortunately very young so their organs are in a pretty good condition and would probably more beneficial tothe recipient, saving his life.

The families of the person suffering from overdose find themselves in ultimate grief . But this gesture of  donation of theirloved one’s organs  gives them a feel of satisfaction. They find this donation an act of saving someone’s life.Even after loosing their own relative, the family of the donor find a relief and redemption in their loved ones final act. Read details about hepatocellular carcinoma symptoms.

Inspirational facts about an overdose donor

There are many inspirational stories of overdose donors families. One such is of Hilda Halstead. Halstead is mother of Nadya Zitek, born in March 1980. Her daughter died two years back. She told, her daughter was a strong young lady fond of horses and a good student at school. Nadya had two sons and she was a great struggler. She was addicted and the problem started after she went to college.

Nadya just had a drop in her GPA. She had a GPA Of 4.57 fallen to a level of 0.5, just because she was roaming around and sharing bad company. After being going into recovery school things were getting better for Zitek but again it fell apart.

The team of CORE made a contact with Zitek’s mother and told her about the organ donation of Zitek. By chance she was a perfect match for eight major organs. The team added that its kind of a miracle because it happens only two times in the previous ten years. This idea brought a sense of ease in pain, but it is difficult to get over the loss. Just like Halstead told that she shares a special kind of bond with the people who receives Zitek’s organs.

Conclusively, I also believe that many patients have been waiting for like years to have a transplant. So an organ that can save the life of a person is precious irrespective of the fact that it comes from an overdose donor. For patients like Keene, these donors are still heroes saving lives of many. You should also read symptoms of liver cancer in females.