CCMH recognized for organ and tissue donation
By JODY MURPHY
PARKERSBURG -Camden-Clark Memorial Hospital has been recognized for its strides in organ and tissue donation.
The hospital was recognized at the Governor's Award for Life Dinner/CEO Summit at Stonewall Resort. Tuesday, Kathy Warhola, regional representative for Lifeline of Ohio, came to Parkersburg to present officials the Governor's Award for Life.
Created in 2008, the Governor's Award for Life partnered with the state's four organ procurement organizations and the West Virginia Hospital Association to recognize facilities with donation programs that have excelled to save and enhance lives through organ, tissue and eye donation.
In the last 10 years CCMH has accounted for 15 organ donors and 50 tissue donors. Warhola said one organ donors can save as many as eight lives. A tissue donor can save or enhance the lives of as many as 50 people.
"Camden-Clark was one of the few hospitals leading the state in organ and tissue donations," Warhola said.
Organs are distributed based upon medical information (blood type, body size) and tissue type matching through a national computer network.
Donated organs can include heart, intestines, kidneys, liver, lungs and pancreas. Tissue can include bones, corneas, heart valves, skin, tendons and veins.
The need for organ and tissue donation is great, but the opportunities are rare, according to officials, with only about one percent of annual deaths eligible for organ donations.
To make the most of the opportunities for donation, Warhola said officials plan to increase educational and awareness programs. She said only 34 percent of the state's registered drivers are organ donors, that's about 450,000 people. Warhola said officials need to encourage more people to register as organ donors on their driver's licenses.
Susan Abdella, clinical nurse manager for CCMH, said donors who register on their driver's license make end-of-life decisions easier on family members in a time of stress and crisis.
"Organ donation is important not just for the recipients in need, but to honor donors and their families' wishes as part of end-of-life care," Warhola said.