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Showing posts from May, 2011
Designing organs for medical transplantationDenise Dador | ABC 7, Los Angeles
LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- Seventeen people die each day in the U.S. waiting for an organ transplant, but that may not always be the case. Thanks to breakthrough science, organ donation could actually one day become obsolete.

Currently 105,000 people are waiting for an organ to save their life, from kidneys to lungs to livers, the list is long.

Life is now being designed in the lab. Organs, limbs, wombs and even skin are being grown from a single cell.

Stephen Bruno waited 16 years for a liver transplant.

"You're not living. You're surviving, and you're not sure of when it's going to come, or even if it's going to come," said Bruno.

It finally came. What's happening inside one laboratory could put an end to the wait Bruno and thousands of others face each year. Researchers at the Institute for Regenerative Medicine at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center are the first in the world …
Girl waits, hopes for a new heartBY DAVID DEMILLE • DDEMILLE | The Spectrum
ST. GEORGE - A 12-year-old girl whose heart suddenly stopped in PE class earlier this month is feeling better, but doctors say she needs a heart transplant.

Abby Doman, a cheerful, athletic girl who likes to play soccer, was in good spirits Monday as she prepared to be discharged from Primary Children's Medical Center in Salt Lake City. She is set to leave the hospital later this week but will need to live nearby until the right heart is available for a transplant.

The anxious wait could take some time, and doctors say Doman will need a new heart within a year.

"It's like a movie," Michelle Doman, Abby's mother, said from the hospital. "It's like a bad movie, but every once in a while you step back and say, 'Wait it's happening to us.'"

Abby was a seemingly healthy sixth-grade girl. She earns good grades and likes to play soccer. But in an instant, her life change…
New Providence 5K race raises organ donor awarenessBy Liz Keill/Independent Press 
NEW PROVIDENCE - Two years ago, Erin Snyder needed a kidney. Fortunately, her brother Michael was a good match and he became the donor.

“My sister was lucky that I could donate to her” Michael Snyder said. “She didn’t have to go on the wait list, and that meant someone else could be moved up.”

The operation took place on June 9, 2009 and the 5K race, a first for the Sharing Network in New Providence, will be on Sunday, June 12, just two years and three days later.
“This is the inaugural. It’s the first time they’ve done it,” Snyder said of his involvement. The event is expected to bring donor families, recipients, volunteers, hospital partners and transplant centers together.
Snyder is captain of Team Maitri a name, he said, that is derived from the Buddhist saying for the principle of loving kindness or loving friendliness. Snyder has been studying Eastern Philosophy at Rutgers University and, he said, …
Surgeon killed in shooting at Orlando hospital
by The Associated Press

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) - Authorities say a murder-suicide in a parking garage at Florida Hospital in Orlando left a doctor and the gunman dead.

Police spokeswoman Lt. Barbara Jones identified the doctor as 41-year-old Dmitriy Nikitin. Hospital officials say Nikitin was a multi-organ transplant surgeon.

Jones said the gunman's identity was being withheld, pending notification of next of kin.

Police have released few details about the shooting Thursday evening. It's not clear how the gunman knew Nikitin.

The shooting occurred near the elevators on the first floor of the garage used by employees and patients' families.

Nikitin also taught at the University of Central Florida's College of Medicine. Last year, he was part of a surgical team that set a Florida Hospital record for the most number of transplants ever done in a weekend.
The Rise of the Red Market
How the best intentions of the medical community accidentally created an international organ-trafficking underground.BY SCOTT CARNEY

It was a revolutionary idea at the time, and it succeeded wildly, helping create one of the most robust and safe blood supplies in the world. Today, Americans donate so much blood in excess of the country's needs that the United States is the number one blood exporter on the planet. We send almost 1.5 million gallons of blood plasma abroad every year, enough to fill two and a half Olympic swimming pools.

Titmuss's model also applied to acquiring and selling body parts -- which has since become the gold standard throughout medicine. In 1984, the U.S. Congress passed the National Organ Transplant Act, forbidding the sale of body parts and effectively requiring an altruism-based system for acquiring them. Anonymity, too has become the rule. In the 1960s, it was still possible for organ recipients to learn who donated the or…
Argentina celebra Día Nacional de Donación de Órganos
Buenos Aires, 30 may (PL) Argentina celebrará hoy el Día Nacional de la Donación de Órganos con resultados que el Ministerio de Salud de la Nación calificó de alentadores, en un informe difundido en esta capital.

En el transcurso de 2011, el número de donantes de órganos en Argentina creció un 32,8 por ciento respecto a igual período del pasado año, destacó el reporte, difundido el fin de semana último a propósito de la efeméride.

Hasta la fecha, en el país se realizaron 528 trasplantes de órganos gracias a 239 donantes reales, precisó la entidad, que elogió el rol estratégico desempeñado en esta materia por los establecimientos sanitarios y la comunidad hospitalaria.

En ocasión del este día serán reconocidos los hospitales que reflejan en sus resultados la incorporación de la procuración de órganos y tejidos como una actividad médico-asistencial, anticipó el organismo.

La efeméride fue establecida en homenaje al nacimiento de Dante…
Men who shared prep coaching work now share kidney

BLOOMFIELD HILLS, Mich. (AP) — Bill Hertle and John Tryon share much more than years together as assistant high school football coaches for Bloomfield Hills Lahser, now that Hertle has given Tryon one of his kidneys.

Both men played football at the suburban Detroit school. They were hired as assistants when Dan Loria began putting together his first staff at Lahser in 2001. Tryon no longer coaches there but remains a regular at football events.

"It's very cool and they come off the background of teamwork being football coaches," said Dr. Jason Denny, a transplant doctor for the procedure and a former all-state quarterback at Holy Trinity High School in New York. "Me playing football myself, you understand that the contribution to the group is often greater than what you can get for yourself."

The transplant surgery was done May 10 at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit, according to the Detroit Free Press.

Hertle, 5…
Teens have heart to heart
by Lauran Neergaard | Marietta Daily Journal
WASHINGTON - Courtney Montgomery's heart was failing fast, but the 16-year-old furiously refused when her doctors, and her mother, urged a transplant.

Previous surgeries hadn't helped and the North Carolina girl didn't believe this scarier operation would either. It would take another teen who's thriving with a new heart to change her mind.

"I was like, 'No, I don't want this. If I'm going to die, I'm going to die,'" Courtney recalls. "Now I look back, I realize I wasn't thinking the way I should have been."

Teenagers can add complex psychology to organ transplantation: Even though they're minors, they need to be on board with a transplant because it's up to them to take care of their new organ. Depression, anger and normal adolescent pangs - that tug-of-war with parents, trying to fit in - can interfere. It's not just a question of having the tr…
Doctor helps Ohio boy overcome bullying that prompted him to refuse kidney transplant he needs
CLIFF RADEL The Cincinnati Enquirer
CINCINNATI — The grade-school bullies called him so many names he wanted to die.

"Stupid," ''Freaky," ''Retarded" and "Trashcan" were the kindest things they said to their fifth-grade classmate, Josh Frey. The cruel words upset the 11-year-old Mason boy so much he refused a kidney transplant.

Josh needs that operation. His end-stage renal disease requires daily dialysis.

The bullying accelerated in January. Josh was so down in the dumps he didn't want to go to school.

He discussed his depression with his doctor, Rene G. Van De Voorde III. The medical director of Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center's dialysis unit volunteered to go to Josh's school, Stewart Elementary in Sharonville.

He talked to Josh's fellow students, bullies included. No one mentioned the b-word.

Instead of talkin…
Rockford hospital switches to Ill. organ transplant networkBy: Paul Merrion | Crain's Chicago Business
In a decision that will help ease Chicago’s chronic shortage of human organs for transplants, the federal government will allow one of Rockford’s three major hospitals to leave a donation network in Wisconsin and align with one that serves Northern Illinois.

The hard-fought switch to Itasca-based Gift of Hope Organ and Tissue Donor Network comes after a year of deliberation by the federal Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services, which oversees 58 regional non-profits that collect and distribute kidneys, hearts, livers and other organs within their territories.

In Gift of Hope’s territory, which covers 179 hospitals in all but the bottom third of the state, about 300 people die each year waiting for a transplant. With about 800 transplant operations conducted annually, primarily by Chicago hospitals, the local supply will increase nearly 5% with an additional 30 to 40 organs com…
Flesh for sale
From kidney brokers to blood farmers, a journalist exposes the the "red market" in human body partsSource: - What to Read

During the mid-2000s, Scott Carney was living in southern India and teaching American anthropology students on their semester abroad when one of his charges died, apparently a suicide. For two days, he watched over her body while the provincial police investigated her death, reporters bribed their way into the morgue to photograph the newsworthy corpse, local doctors performed an autopsy, and ice had to be rounded up to retard decomposition. Finally, his boss asked Carney to take pictures of the girl's mangled remains for analysis by forensic experts back in the States.

This unsettling experience gave Carney his first inkling of how a human being becomes a thing. When he abandoned academia for investigative journalism (he writes for Wired, Mother Jones and other publications), his South Asian surroundings offered him many examp…
United States officials propose further retreat from first-come, first-served organ donationSource: CJMA

The United States Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS) has long prided itself as being entirely egalitarian, distributing organs on a first-come, first-serve basis without regard to wealth, class, race or other consideration.

But another chink may be about to appear in that philosophical armour as the agency, which operates the Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network, says it is considering a revision in its policies for allocating kidneys, including the allocation of younger kidneys, to younger recipients. The policy changes would basically extend a rule implemented in 2004 that prioritized allocation of organs to pediatric recipients.

The changes would also result in the creation of a kidney profile index that would rank the quality of all donated kidneys according to the period of time they might be expected to last after they are transplanted. That would largely be based on t…
British woman dies in Fethiye, saves lives of three Turks by donating organs, TurkeyTODAYSZAMAN.COMThree organs from a British tourist in Turkey's Aegean province of Muğla have been donated to Turkish patients waiting for transplantation, doctors said on Sunday.

The British tourist, Janet Bradley (70), who was staying in her hotel room in the tourist haven of Ölüdeniz, suddenly suffered a cerebral hemorrhage and was taken by ambulance to the private Lokman Hekim Esnaf Hospital in Fethiye on Thursday.

The massive stroke incapacitated the British woman. Severe hemorrhaging caused significant brain damage, leaving her in a vegetative state.

Fethiye State Hospital Deputy head doctor and Fethiye Organ Transplantation Coordinator Uğur Çomak then contacted Bradley's relatives and asked if they would be willing to approve transplantation of her organs to waiting patients.

The family approved the donation, and Çomak submitted Bradley's tissue characteristics to the organ donation c…
Three families united by tragedy, generosity
MERRIMACK — Two complete strangers came together on Saturday to meet the family of Jonathon Simeone, the young man whose unexpected death one year ago helped save their own lives.

Simeone provided life-saving kidneys for Jeanette Dsouza of Boston and Charles Zayat of Rhode Island, who gathered this past weekend to remember their generous organ donor and his passion for riding.

The two kidney recipients met Simeone’s parents and fiancee while dedicating the Lawrence Road dirt bike park and naming it the Jon Simeone Memorial ATV Park.

“I feel like I have got a new lease on life, and I don’t know if I would be here without Jon,” said Dsouza, 67, who was on the national organ transplant waiting list for about three years.

She had been on dialysis since 2004, and was gratified when Simeone’s kidney turned out to be a perfect match. On May 29, 2010, Dsouza received Simeone’s kidney, and she has been dreaming of …
Organ donor's family raises awarenessRyan Clark | Coshoctom Tribune

FALMOUTH - Stephen Elrod was driving to work down the AA Highway on a foggy morning in July 2009 when a tractor trailer pulled out in front of him, causing an accident that ended his life at just 24 years old.

Stephen's parents didn't even know that sometime prior to the accident, he had filled out an application to be an organ donor.

"People told us afterward that this was really important to Stephen," said his father, Rick. "We never knew that, to him, donating was really special."

Nearly two years after the accident that took their son's life, Rick and wife Judy Elrod are helping to present the first "Stephen's Dinner for Life," a celebration dinner featuring entertainment to benefit the Kentucky Circuit Court Clerk's Trust for Life, a nonprofit organization dedicated to raising awareness about the need for organdonation in Kentucky.

The dinner - which also feat…
Monday Matters: Transplant Survivor Touts Organ DonationBy Rusty Garrett | Times Record

Roy Tipton is a man who has been on the medical equivalent of death row several times.

In 1985, he was diagnosed with auto-immune hepatitis and told he may have 10 years to live - a grim pronouncement for a man of 37. He endured years of medical evaluations and visits to doctors. His name gradually climbed to the top of a crowded donors list - and then dropped off as he contracted two separate pernicious lung infections.

Having battled the infections, he sweated out several "dry-runs" for transplant.

On one occasion, he was an alternate recipient and the primary recipient was given the organ. On another, doctors rejected the organ he was to receive as unsuitable for transplant.

Altogether, 19 years, 11 months and 29 days elapsed between the time Tipton was told he would need a new liver and the transplant.

Today, six and one-half years after receiving a liver transplant, he counts himself…
Student giving stranger a kidneyBy NEIL STEINBERG | Chicago Sun Times

Before the sun comes up Tuesday, Rachel Garneau’s boyfriend will drive her from her home in Elmhurst to the University of Chicago Medical Center, where a surgeon will operate on this perfectly healthy 20-year old college junior and remove her left kidney.

Typically, this kind of donation is made to save the life of a loved one — you give your kidney to a brother or sister, for instance, suffering from kidney failure. Or, if you are not a suitable donor for your relative, you give a kidney into the national donation system, and somebody angling for a kidney for their loved one gives one to yours, forming a “cluster” of donation that can involve half a dozen people.

But Garneau’s four siblings are fine. She doesn’t know anyone who needs a kidney. She just wants to donate hers.

“We have a young lady, an incredibly generous person who said, ‘I want to give up my kidney to just anybody,’” said Dr. Yolanda T. Becker, the …
'Medical miracle': Kidney transplant has lasted 40 years and going strongBy RICHARD CRAVER | Winston-Salem Journal

When Jack Young's kidneys began failing at age 17 in 1967, he became convinced he was living on borrowed time.

Even after being told in 1971 he was eligible for a kidney transplant from his sister, Sharon — only the third ever planned at N.C.Baptist Hospital — Young didn't take the opportunity "all that seriously," even though it represented ending the ordeal of eight hours of dialysis twice a week.

All that Young, a West Jefferson resident, knew of organ transplants was that they were painful and likely wouldn't extend the recipient's life by more than a few months.

So even though his sister was a near-perfect match, he risked his preparation by sneaking out of the hospital for a banana split — a dietary no-no for someone on dialysis. It delayed the surgery for two weeks.

"I had been going to the church chapel to think about the dec…