Genetically altered animal organs may one day replace human donors—whose extraordinary generosity should be cherished.
Research shows that these disparities are avoidable, especially with changes at the institutional level.
When a Michigan woman was told to raise $10,000 for a heart transplant, outrage spread on social media. But experts say “wallet biopsies” are common.
Patients receiving new kidneys and livers must take damaging anti-rejection drugs for the rest of their lives. Now researchers hope to train the immune system instead of just tamping it down.
The good news is that the number of transplants in the U.S. has risen recently, due in large part to organs made available from opioid overdoses. But nearly all transplant programs still have one thing in common: Too many donor organs go unused, not because there is anything wrong with them but because of flaws in our system for getting them to the patients who need them.
A device the size of an espresso machine quietly whirs to life. The contraption isn’t filled with fresh, pungent grounds but, instead, spoonfuls of opaque, sterile goo. Its robotic arm moves briskly: It hovers, lowers, and then repositions a pair of syringes over six petri dishes. In short, rapid-fire bursts, they extrude the milky paste. Soon, three little hexagons form in each dish. After a few minutes, the hexagons grow to honeycomb structures the size of fingernails. No one here is getting a latte anytime soon.
Transplanting organs, tissue or stem cells from one person to another saves lives. It was not easy to figure out what facilitates a healthy and successful transplant though. Efforts over a long time reveal the complexity of the procedure and that very specific circumstances are required. As researchers’ understanding of the immune system improved, so did the success rate of transplants.
Now, 50 years after the first successful heart transplant, experts believe we may be nearing an era where organ transplantation will no longer be necessary. “I think within ten years we won’t see any more heart transplants, except for people with congenital heart damage, where only a new heart will do,” Stephen Westaby, from the John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford, told The Telegraph.
The demand for viable organ transplants is not going away any time soon. We are either going to have to find an ethical and honourable way of solving this enormous problem or the day of "Big Al’s Used Organ Lot" may not be so far away.
Six years ago, Wang Huanming was paralyzed from the neck down after being injured wrestling with a friend. Today, he hopes he has found the answer to walking again: a new body for his head.
Much has been said about the ways we expect our oncoming fleet of driverless cars to change the way we live—remaking us all into passengers, rewiring our economy, retooling our views of ownership, and reshaping our cities and roads.
They will also change the way we die.
Transplanting a head does, of course, present tremendous new challenges for surgeons. Unlike, say, fingers, which can survive for days detached from a body, brains suffer irreversible damage within minutes of losing blood flow. Cooling the brain can delay damage for up to an hour—just enough time, perhaps, to transplant a head. Doctors also need to test whether immunosuppressant drugs, which prevent the body’s immune system from attacking foreign tissue, will protect the brain as well as they protect other organs. But there’s no reason to think they won’t.
Transplanting the penis was the easy part. Taking care of it will be the really hard part. Transplant patients need constant blood work, medication changes, biopsies, and exams (remember the first hand transplant patient refused to take his meds - and his hand was removed).
With the first HHT on the horizon, guttural yuck-reactions, and references to the ethical questionability of this procedure abound. A famous ethicist suggested that the surgeon is “out of his mind.” But I am unsure if this rejection is fair. If we have allowed the development of kidney, heart, hand, face, uterus, and penis transplants, why would this new area of transplant medicine raise prohibitive concerns?
Some transplant centers reject a significant portion of the usable organs they receive.
One key reason all these new forms of transplantation are revolutionary is that they involve non-life-saving organs. Unlike heart, liver, kidney and lung transplants, they are being done to enhance the quality of life or to palliate suffering. Some are being done not to save lives but to allow individuals to create new ones.
Waiting for and Giving the Gift – In this dramatic photo-documentary journey, experience the stories of patients whose hopes rise and fall with each passing day as they wait for organ transplants. Learn how families look beyond their grief in order to give life to others.
At Transplant Families, well-being is at the forefront of what we’re working together towards. We are transplant families just like you. Our kids have seen more in childhood than most of us will in a lifetime. They are gifted life through real-life superheroes, their donors. And we as families (dads, moms, sisters, brothers and so many more) get to be with our transplant kids in this crazy new journey in life. We are here to offer hope.
A transplant may be one of the most important events of your life.
Established in 1999, the TransplantBuddies site provides information about the transplant process, resources covering drugs and side effects, and daily discussions about living life as a transplant patient. The site also includes members' photos and life stories covering experiences of both transplant recipients and donors.
Connect with others in the transplant community to create friendships,
get & give support, increase awareness through advocacy & much more..
TransWeb features news and events, real people's experiences, the top 10 myths about donation, a donation quiz, and a large collection of questions and answers, as well as a reference area with everything from articles to videos.
TRIO is an independent, not-for-profit, international organization committed to improving the quality of life of transplant candidates, recipients, their families and the families of organ and tissue donors
United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS) is the private, non-profit organization that manages the nation’s organ transplant system under contract with the federal government. In doing so, we bring together hundreds of transplant and organ procurement professionals and thousands of volunteers. This unique collaboration helps make life-saving organ transplants possible each day. Our system serves as the model for transplant systems around the world.
Use these forums to discuss any items of interest within the community of transplant recipients, donor families, medical professionals and those on the waiting list for organ transplants.
As experts in community-based fundraising, we help patients and families faced with a transplant or catastrophic injury tackle the daunting task of bridging the financial gap between what their health insurance will cover and what they actually need to heal, live and thrive.
MatchingDonors.com is a web site created to give people in need of transplant surgery an active way to search for a live organ donor. Our goal is to increase the number of transplant surgeries and improve awareness of live organ donation.
The increasing effectiveness of transplantation means that many more patients can be considered for treatment in this way. But there is a serious shortage of donors.
Unlike some other NHS organisations, ODT do not have a direct relationship with patients and do not provide "hands on" care. However, in providing support to transplantation services across the UK, everything ODT does has an impact on the quality of service delivered to individual patients.
The Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network is the unified transplant network established by the United States Congress under the National Organ Transplant Act of 1984. The act called for the network to be operated by a private, non-profit organization under federal contract
You must get a referral from your physician in order to be evaluated by a transplant program as a potential transplant candidate.
The David Foster Foundation is dedicated to two chief goals; to provide financial assistance for non-medical expenses, which are not otherwise covered by governmental agencies, to families in Canada with children who are in need of major organ transplants, and to raise public awareness regarding organ donation.
Transplantation of human organs and tissues, which saves many lives and restores essential functions for many otherwise untreatable patients, both in developing and developed countries, has been a topic for ethical scrutiny and health care policy-making for more than thirty years.