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Organ donors; new concern for them following drug overdose.

HEALTH/MEDICINE

13-05-2016

The number of organ donors who died of fatal drug overdoses has spiked in recent years, according to the Chicago Tribune. One out of eleven organ donors died of drug overdose, research told.

Alexandra Glazier, president of the New England Organ Bank, told U.S. News & World Report that the corresponding increase in death toll of drug-related deaths and an rise in the organ donor population is "a silver lining to what is absolutely tragic," According to Organ Procurement and Transplant Network data, 848 organ donors died of drug intoxication in 2015. From 2014 to 2015, organ donors overall increased by five per cent. "The boost in donors in the past year is pretty significant and not actually expected," said David Klassen, MD, CMO of the United Network for Organ Sharing. "A major part of it can be explained by the drug overdoses as contributing to it, but not all of it. The transplant community is making good attempts in increasing contribution and responsiveness of in search of every last donor and trying to be as proficient as possible."

Nowadays, state research found that an organ donor out of eleven has died of a drug overdose. Drug overdose deaths have been amplified by 137 percent since 2000 and it was mainly due to misuse of prescription of painkillers and heroin that has driven much of the increases. Dr. Klassen raises the alarm bell in report in the Chicago Tribune. "It's an awful state of affairs. But the transplant donation is a way of potentially salvaging some good out of a horrible situation."

The report highlighted that, the swell in organ transplants from drug overdose victims has raised security questions among some, but organs from drug users have been deemed suitable for decades. These donors are categorized as "high-risk" because of their behavioural record. The U.S. Public Health Service guidelines stipulate that those who receive the organ must give precise permission to obtain transplants from high-risk donors. The latter are screened for HIV, hepatitis B and hepatitis C but there are additional tests also."Frankly speaking, people who are dying of drug overdoses are young and have a propensity to be in good health," Dr. Klassen said. "In various ways, they are ... potentially excellent donors, from an organ quality standpoint."

 

 

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