Organ Donation: 6 Myths that Might Change Your Mind about Giving the Gift of Life

Medical Center & Health Care

Organ Donation: 6 Myths that Might Change Your Mind about Giving the Gift of Life

 Wayne C. Waltzer, MD, Director, Kidney Transplantation Services; Professor and Chair, Department of Urology  and Frank Darras, MD, Clinical Professor, Department of Urology, and Medical Director, Transplantation Services at Stony Brook Medicine, 

STONY BROOK, NY, MARCH 27, 2015 – Did you know that one organ donor can save up to eight lives? And that could be extremely helpful given the fact that in New York State alone, over 10,000 people are waiting for organ transplants, according to LiveOnNY (formally the New York Organ Donor Network).  More than 8,000 people await kidneys; over 1,300 need livers; and more than 300 need hearts.

Dawn Francisquini RN BSN,
On average, 18 people die every day while waiting for organ transplants in the U.S., and every 10 minutes, another name is added to the waiting list. In New York, someone dies every 15 hours waiting for an organ transplant. So what is keeping these patients from receiving the organs they need? Dawn Francisquini RN BSN, Transplant Senior Specialist, Stony Brook University Department of Transplant, says it could be some of the myths her team tries to bust every day.

Myth #1: In order to be a living donor you have to be the same blood type and sex as the recipient.

Answer: “Yes, in order to directly donate to someone you need to be the same or a compatible blood type,” says Francisquini. “However, if you are not the same blood type you can still donate in the paired exchange program.” The paired exchange is comprised of recipients who have living donors who for some reason cannot donate directly to them.  The “pair” is put into this “pool” with other recipients and living donors who are in the same situation and essentially a swap is made.  For example recipient 1 will receive a kidney from a living donor and in exchange …

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