International Organ Donation

by L-Johnson

There are currently 109,568 people in the world who are waiting for a life-saving transplant.

The donation of organs for transplantation is a life-providing treatment that has grown in popularity in recent years. Unfortunately, the demand has grown at an even higher rate. The international exchange of organs or tissue is possible but is an uncommon procedure due to this high demand. Exportation of organs for transplantation will only happen if an effort is put forth to find a recipient on the domestic waiting list and fails.

Another reason import/export of organs is uncommon is the length of time that donated organs and tissues can be kept outside the body:

Heart: 4-6 hours
Lung: 4-6 hours
Liver: 12-24 hours
Kidney: 48-72 hours

A patient who wants an organ transplant must become a member of the OPTN (Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network) as they maintain a database of eligible transplant patients and transplant centres.

The foreign source of an organ import must be an OPTN-recognized transplant centre or organ procurement program. An organ being imported to the United States must include documentation certifying that the donor has met the brain death or cardiac death protocols in compliance with US standards. Organs must also include documentation certifying the informed consent of the donor or his legal representative.

A goal of the OPTN is for the exchange of organs between patients and foreign programs to foster the development of international organ sharing, which is still in its early stages.

Read more:

Trillium Gift of Life Network | Organ Donation

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