Biology Concepts

When a particular organ of our body like kidney, liver, lung, heart, is failing to function properly, organ transplant is a viable option. A living donor may be able to donate a kidney because humans are born with two kidneys, or liver because it is regenerative. In rare instances, human lungs can also be transplanted.

The heart, double-lung, pancreas, and cornea transplants, the organs should be taken from dead donors. However, in any case, the organ must be properly matched to the recipient (Harris).

In 1999, the United Network for Organ or UNOS identified that organs for donation mostly come from hospital patients who were pronounced brain dead due to illness or injury (“Organ Donation” 45). When a potential donor was recognized, the hospital or the Organ Procurement Organization will ask the family of the donor’s consent.

When the consent is given, the rest of the procurement process from the organ recovery to the actual transplant will be done. Within the whole process, the family of the organ donor, the procuring surgeon, the OPO, the Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network, the transplant surgeon, the hospital staff, and the organ recipient should work hand in hand for the procedure. The family’s motivation and the OPO procurement strategies are the major factors for a successful organ donation (“Organ Donation” 46).

As described by the Arkansas Regional Organ Recovery Agency, when an organ donor is identified, his medical and social history will be examined. The donor is medically upheld by the OPO coordinator in a hospital. The OPO coordinator will submit the donor’s blood type and body size to UNOS. Based on these data, the UNOS computer system matches the organ to a potential recipient.

For kidney and pancreas transplant cases, genetic tissue should be considered. Recipient selection through waiting list is done through blood type, body size, medical urgency, and length of time on waiting. When a match has been found, the OPO coordinator informs the patient’s surgeon. If the surgeon decided not to accept the organ for the patient, the next patient in the list will be contacted.

This process will continue until such time that the exact-match patient will be found. The OPO coordinator is also responsible for the recovery and transport of the organ to the transplant center.

On the other hand, the recipient will undergo final pre-operative procedure during the organ recovery operation. When the organ has been recovered and taken to the transplant center, the transplant operation is performed. After this, the OPO coordinator will notify the donor family, hospital staff, physicians and nurses concerning each transplant operation (“The Organ Recovery Process”).