It wasn't until 1967 that the first successful heart transplant took place. With this new development, the donor card was established as a legal document the next year (8). In 1984, National Organ Transplant Act was passed; this established the Organ Procurement and Transplant Network. This fundamentally guaranteed fairness in distribution of donated organs (5). Three years later a new drug to suppress the immune system was developed. It was not approved until 1994.
Technology for organ donation has come along way. Science has even been able to transplant a full hand. Many articles suggest that the future of transplantation is stem cells. That is in using stem cells to grow tissue and organs. Many researchers are also studying how to use genetically modified animals for transplantable organs. So why is it so important to develop other ways to receive organs? Why then are we still researching this area? The largest difficulty with Organ Donation is the immense shortage. As of November third of this year, there are 100,372 people on the waiting list for organ donation, in the United States (13). Approximately one person is added to that list every 11 minutes (9). It is also estimated that on average, between 16 and 17 people die per day due to lack of an organ transplant (1). Some studies indicate that rate may be higher. The rough facts are that they don't need to. It is estimated that 10,000 to 14,000 people who die each year qualify for organ donation, but less than half of them become donors (1). In 2001, 2,025 kidney patients, 1,347 liver patients, 458 heart patients and 361 lung patients died waiting for organ transplants due to the shortage of organ transplantation (1). These numbers include young people; nearly 10 percent waiting for liver transplants are under 18 years of age (1).
PROCESS OF ORGAN DONATION
There are many steps to take during the organ donation process. The procuremen View More »