There are currently more than 113,000 people on the national organ transplant waiting list, according to the United Network of Organ Sharing. In 2018, over 36,000 patients received the life-saving gift of a transplant.
While this number set a new record for the number of transplants performed in a single year, there are still many patients waiting for their transplant opportunity. In fact, 20 people die each day while waiting for an organ transplant.
The transplant community has made significant strides in identifying ways to expand the donor pool. One of these ways is to include organs from hepatitis C virus-infected donors in patients who do not have hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection.
Medical advancements, including new antiviral medications that cure HCV with a 98 percent success rate, have made this addition to the donor pool possible, expanding the potential to receive organs from donors who were once deemed invalid.
NATCO, The Organization for Transplant Professionals, encourages you to register to be an organ donor, and to not count yourself out because you carry a disease or condition that would have once barred you from donating. With constant advances in the field of medicine and transplantation, the number of people waiting for transplants can be reduced.
For more information on how to become a registered donor and give the gift of life, visit organdonor.gov/register.html.
Erika Demars, RN, BSN, CCTC, and Jennifer Reese, BSN, MSN, ANP-BC, APRN-CNP, CCTC, [email protected]