Short­age of or­gans in Ge­or­gia, na­tion­ally

GA Voice - - Georgianews -

The pas­sage of the law in 2013 and the be­gin­ning of such HIV-to-HIV surg­eries couldn’t have come soon enough for those on the wait­ing list for an or­gan.

“There’s a real short­age of or­gans in this coun­try,” Miller says. “It’s an­other in­no­va­tive way to free up more or­gans to save more lives.”

The lat­est sta­tis­tics from the U.S. Depart­ment of Health and Hu­man Ser­vices shows that there are about 123,000 peo­ple on the wait­ing list for or­gans na­tion­ally, with nearly 5,700 of those liv­ing in Ge­or­gia (90 per­cent of which are in need of a kid­ney trans­plant). Just one donor could po­ten­tially ben­e­fit 60 peo­ple ac­cord­ing to the LifeLink Foun­da­tion, a na­tional non­profit or­ga­ni­za­tion that fa­cil­i­tates the do­na­tion of or­gans and tis­sues. LifeLink of Ge­or­gia serves 193 hos­pi­tals across the state.

“LifeLink sup­ports the HOPE Act as an op­por­tu­nity to save more lives through or­gan trans­plan­ta­tion, and it will be our honor to help the fam­i­lies of in­di­vid­u­als who are HIV-pos­i­tive ful­fill their loved ones’ de­ci­sion to give the gift of life through or­gan do­na­tion,” says Kaysha Cra­non, se­nior pub­lic af­fairs co­or­di­na­tor in the At­lanta of­fice of LifeLink.

The Emory study on HIV-to-HIV trans­plants is now be­ing re­viewed by the IRB and, once ap­proved, will be open for en­roll­ment of HIV-pos­i­tive pa­tients in need of a kid­ney trans­plant. So what do HIV-pos­i­tive peo­ple in the At­lanta area who are in need of a kid­ney do to en­roll?

“If they have kid­ney fail­ure, they’d be un­der the care of a nephrol­o­gist, and they would need to re­quest that their pri­mary care team re­fer them to Emory for a kid­ney trans­plant,” says Dr. Tom Pear­son, ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor of the Emory Trans­plant Cen­ter and pro­fes­sor of surgery at Emory Uni­ver­sity School of Medicine. “They would need to be eval­u­ated here at Emory for a kid­ney trans­plant just like any other pa­tient.”

The five pa­tients en­rolled in the study at Emory and 30 en­rolled na­tion­wide will be fol­lowed up with for up to three years, with na­tional study-wide com­ple­tion es­ti­mated to oc­cur by June 2019.

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