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Sunday, February 19, 2012

Organs from less-than-ideal donors are saving patients' lives

Detroit Free Press | Patricia Anstett

After 2 1/2 years on Michigan's waiting list for a liver, Fredric Bennitt, who had gotten weaker and sicker, changed his mind about taking a less-than-perfect donor organ.

The liver he got last November at the University of Michigan came from someone who died of a heart attack, a donation considered somewhat riskier because organs of heart patients might go longer without a blood supply that affects the success of a transplant.

But with no increase in organ donations nationwide and not enough organs to go around, Americans must decide whether to take an organ from an older person or from someone with a chronic health issue. Bennitt, 63, was told another U-M patient declined the organ he got.

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