U organ transplant program declares 95 percent consent rate in 2004

By By Ted Thackeray

By Ted Thackeray

More deathbed patients from the U’s hospitals and clinic agreed to donate their organs than those from most other hospitals across both the state and nation.

The Solid Organ Transplant Program at the University Hospital posted a 95 percent consent rate in 2004 for medically eligible donors. The national average is 50 percent, while the statewide average is 70.

“We have made donation an acceptable option and even an expectation of the culture here,” said Kim Phillips, R.N., M.S.N. and manager of the U Hospital SOTP.

Phillips attributes this success to the staff and its method of gaining consent. He added that approval is key to make the perspective of the recipient and the perspective of the donor one and the same.

“Our nurses view their roles as being responsible for world-class care,” Phillips said. “This includes being able to approach the topic.”

Currently more than 87,000 people in the United States are on the waiting list for an organ transplant, according to the U’s Health Sciences Center. A single donor providing organs such as lungs, kidneys, pancreas, liver, heart, intestines, tendons, bones, and more may save more than 50 people.

Sixteen people die each day waiting for transplants because donor organs aren’t available, according to the United Network for Organ Sharing.

A new name is added to the transplant waiting list every 13 minutes.

Staff members at the U Hospital learn from day one that donation is of tremendous value both to the recipient as well as to the donor family.

The U Hospital staff members said they starts building a relationship of trust with potential donors the moment they are admitted to the hospital.

“You can’t take care of a patient the whole time they are in here and then simply have someone else come in and ask the question,” said Phillips. “We separate clinical care from the donation.”

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