CNBC reports on new technology to combat organ shortage

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Every year, tens of thousands of Americans receive new organs, giving them a new lease on life when the ones they were born with start to fail. In 2016 there were more than 33,600 transplants, a number that has risen by 20 percent in the past five years.

However, there are many more than that waiting on the transplant list — about 120,000 people total. Sometimes they wait for years; an average of about Continue Reading →

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Twin aids wounded brother in rare living donor intestinal transplant

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CHICAGO — A selfless sacrifice brings identical twin brothers closer than ever.

“My cousin said, ‘Oh, that’s why there are two of y’all — you all can swap parts,’” Patrick Noel recalls.

Those words were more than an innocent joke for Patrick and his identical twin brother, Derrick.

“I’d give it to him again if I had to,” Derrick says.

Last July, Patrick was shot six times in front of his Calumet City home, a case of mistaken identity.

“Everything changed in the blink of an eye,” ...

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World-first quintuple organ transplant performed in Australia

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Stephanie Dundas’ body was so full of other people’s DNA that even her doctors had secretly given up hope of finding a match for the five new organs needed to save her life.

A previous liver transplant and years of regular blood transfusions meant the 27-year-old carried so many antibodies she was incompatible with more than 98 percent of potential organ donors.

But now Stephanie, 26, is recovering as the first cystic fibrosis patient in the world to receive a quintuple organ transplant, ending ...

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Education Corner – Communicating CBI / TBI to a Family

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Communicating CBI / TBI to a Family

(CBI / TBI – Catastrophic / Traumatic Brain Injury)

Family Support:
  1. Give frequent updates to family on patient’s condition.
  2. Advocate for family to get questions answered by physicians.
  3. Consult social services / pastoral care / case manager for family support.
  4. Provide and encourage conversations in the family’s preferred language.
  5. Invite family to participate in bedside care (e.g. washing face, applying lotion to hands, etc.).
  6. Encourage personal items in the room (e.g. music, photos, blanket).
  7. Ask family what is most important to them ...
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New UNOS kidney allocation system narrowed racial gaps in transplant

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A new kidney allocation system implemented in 2014 by the United Network for Organ Sharing reduced racial disparities in receipt of kidney transplants, according to a study published in the June issue of Health Affairs.

Taylor A. Melanson, from Emory University in Atlanta, and colleagues examined the effect of the new kidney allocation system implemented in 2014 on racial disparities in receipt of kidney transplant. Data were analyzed for 179,071 transplant waiting list events from June 2013 to September 2016, and ...

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Danish boy undergoes experimental thymus transplant surgery

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The thymus is a small glandular structure that regulates the immune system. Without this vital organ, a baby will often die within the first year from a simple bacterial or viral infection.

Three years ago, Marianne Ifversen, a Danish senior doctor at Rigshospital, found out that a boy brought in to see her didn’t have one. Fortunately, this is an extremely rare condition.

The boy is now one of 12 European children who have received experimental transplant surgery to remedy this deficiency, ...

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South African Team Performs Second Successful Penile Transplant

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A team from Stellenbosch University (SU) and the Tygerberg Academic Hospital has recently performed a second penis transplant, making it the first medical centre in the world to successfully perform this procedure twice.

Prof André van der Merwe, Head of the Division of Urology at SU’s Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences (FMHS), led the marathon operation of nine and a half hours performed on 21 April at Tygerberg Hospital in Cape Town, South Africa. The recipient was a 40 year ...

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My son died in 1994 but his heart only stopped beating this year

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On the night of 29 September 1994, seven-year-old Nicholas Green was fatally shot during a family holiday in southern Italy. The death was a tragedy for his parents, Reg and Maggie, but their decision to donate his organs caused organ donation rates in Italy to triple in a decade – a result dubbed the “Nicholas effect”.

“The first time I sensed danger was when a dark car came up close behind us and stayed there for a few moments,” says ...

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Education Corner – Supporting Children in Grief & through Donation

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Supporting Children in Grief & through Donation

Supporting children through grief can be a daunting and cause anxiety. Understanding the developmental stages and how to focus the communication can be helpful.

Pace yourself, pause the conversation, and know you can return to this conversation over time.

Developmental Stages & Ages

Birth – 2 Years

  • No understanding of death
  • No words for feelings
  • Notices changes in family emotions and routines

How to help: Meet needs, maintain routines, offer physical contact

3 – 5 Years

  • No ...
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Yale’s Center for Living Organ Donors brings donors together, provides lifelong health monitoring

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The last few times Connecticut had snowstorms, Matt Ragaini worked marathon hours plowing and dispatching plows for the city of Bristol. His wife, Jen, marveled at his stamina. Just two years before, the couple were lying in adjoining operating rooms so that doctors could give Matt a section of Jen’s liver. The hope was that this would cure a chronic liver disease called primary sclerosing cholangitis that had stolen Matt’s energy and could have killed him. Before the ...

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