Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Good News for the Donor Pool: Donate Life

See THIS article: It basically shows that in a long-term study of lung transplant patients at a single center, patients who received lungs from donors after cardiac death (versus brain death) had virtually the same survival rates, and only marginal differences in other complications.

What does this mean? Well, I'm not sure. Perhaps, surgeons and tx centers will be ably to prioritize the procurement of lungs in the donation procurement surgeries? Hmm. Maybe not, because I think the lungs and heart are the last to be procured. I am not sure.... but I can't see any way that it's not good news for lung patients that the outcomes are good with donors who passed from cardiac death. Piper explains a little bit in the comments below. Perhaps some other readers will comment as well.

Some people read these posts and wonder, how can I so casually talk about where the lungs come from and different types of death? I have come to terms with the idea that no matter whether a person donates their organs or not, they die. It's sad, but it's also true:

"Don't take your organs to heaven, heaven knows we need them here."


  1. I like the new meter on the upper right, but what's up w/ the bunny!? I don't want you getting any fuzzy, wussy lungs. I want you getting moist, somewhat disgusting-looking, awesome lungs! And instead of traveling on a path of flowers it should be traveling on a path of phlegm.

  2. hey beth,

    donation after cardiac death doesn't mean the patient died of cardiac issues, per se. it means the patient is mostly brain dead but not quite, and so they can't declare him/her brain dead. because of this, the only way for him//her to become a donor is for them to remove life support and wait for the heart to stop (cardiac death). if this happens quickly enough, most of the organs can be used. if it takes too long, sometimes only tissue and things like corneas can be harvested. the cause of the original death can be anything, though, just like with brain dead donors. (basically, cardiac death donors are what some would call "vegetables" -- people mostly dead with limited brain function and doctors say they have no chance of recovery -- whereas brain dead means you are, in fact, dead even though the machines are still keeping your blood pumping. the family has no option of simply allowing you to remain on life support if you're brain dead -- they can donate or not, but their family member is dead regardless. with cardiac death donors the family could opt to keep them on life support in the hope that they would regain brain function.)

    i had one offer of lungs from a cardiac death donor -- col pres does them!

  3. Thanks, P. I will update the wording of the post to more accurately reflect !

  4. E- the bunny thing is actually a "Baby's Coming!" calendar, hence the funny bunny. I looked through all their themes (they had no lungs a'comin' themes) so I picked the bunny, since, you know, I'd make a really cute baby bunny, as prior posts revealed!

  5. No one dies for you. First they die and then they give.


Thanks for commenting! Your comment will be posted ! -CG