Medical Personnel Taking Precautions with Donated Organs - KOAM TV 7

Medical Personnel Taking Precautions with Donated Organs

Medical Personnel Taking Precautions with Donated Organs


It's a routine question when applying for a drivers license...Would you like to become an organ donor?

With 45 percent of Americans agreeing to become donors - some are still asking...why is there such a lack of receiving organs?

Organs are a one of a kind gift.

Allen Overtuf of Freeman Health Systems' Critical Care Unit says "The difference that can be made to the lives...it can save lives, it can improve lives, to truly hundreds of people just by one commitment of wanting to help others."

Organ donations are vital in saving lives...especially when the need for valuable organs are on the rise. Currently more than 118,000 patients are on the wait-list for a transplant. 1,500 of those patients are in Missouri. 

But when over 50 percent of the Missouri population is registered to donate...why is there such a long wait to receive an organ?

"When we're looking at placing organs, it's going to be geographically. We place within our local area first, and then regionally and then nationally, as well as how sick that patient is, the height, weight, blood type, those are all really important factors." says Cathy Lucchi of the Midwest Transplant Network. She says only 3% of the U.S. population are completely eligible to donate an organ after going through rigorous testing.

Overturf explains "Sometimes when they actually review the organs themselves, it turns out they may not be quite as healthy as expected, sometimes they're more healthy than expected. So the lab and any kind of diagnostics we can run on the front end, sometimes those organs turn out to be viable or not viable."

One of the common ideas of organ donations is when you're at a hospital and receiving care, and a doctor sees the "organ donor" label on your ID, you're less likely to receive the care you need.  But officials say insist this idea is simply not true.

"We do everything we can to save a patient. it's the patients life first. We do everything possible." Overturf says.

If you'd like to register to become an organ donor in Missouri, you can visit the website here

For Kansas residents, the click this link to register online. 


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