A numbers game. That’s what it can seem like for someone living with the life and death need of an organ donation. That’s because the facts are clear when it comes to organ donation: Each year, the number of people on the transplant waiting list continues to be much larger than the number of donors.
There are over one-hundred thousand men, women and children in the United States in need of organ transplants. According to the United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS), every ten minutes, someone is added to the national transplant waiting list but due to the shortage of donated organs, only a small percentage of those waiting will actually receive their transplant. On average, 20 people die each day while waiting for a transplant. The Jewish Hospital Trager Transplant Center continues their tradition of award-winning programs to help meet the needs of those in need of an organ transplant.
KentuckyOne Health and Jewish Hospital’s transplant program is an ongoing partnership with the University of Louisville and its physicians, resulting in the Trager Transplant Center. Louisville’s only adult transplant program, the Trager Transplant Center services the state of Kentucky and beyond. With five decades of performing lifesaving transplant procedures through their award-winning program, they recently celebrated their 5,000th organ transplanted and are also coming up on the 900th liver transplant, 3,000th kidney transplant, and 400th heart transplant.
David Lewis, Director of Transplant Services at Jewish Hospitals Trager Transplant Center, has been in his role only fifteen months but the urgency and sincerity in his voice and demeanor are clear when he says, “One organ donor can help up to seven people with a lifesaving organ transplant and many more with tissue donation.”
There’s a large disparity between the number of people who say that they support donation in theory and the number of people who actually register, (54% of Americans according to the Health Resources and Services Administration). That’s why the Trager Transplant Center’s outreach has expanded to include three transplant clinics in Lexington, Bowling Green and Crestview Hills in northern Kentucky. Lewis explains, “Our goal is to make access to transplant care as easy as possible throughout the region.”
The kidney transplant program has the lowest median wait time in the Kentucky, Indiana, Ohio and Tennessee Region, and several of the other organ programs have the lowest median wait time in Kentucky. The Trager Transplant Program also expects to surpass their previous record for the number of organ transplant procedures performed in a single year. This means that more patients will receive the gift of life than ever before at Jewish Hospital.
The professionals at the Trager Transplant Center are constantly striving to find new and efficient ways to increase the number of organs available to their patients so they may avoid a lengthy stay on the waiting list. Receiving a transplant from a live donor is one solution and that’s why they offer the Living Donor Champion Program. It helps those in need of a kidney transplant, and/or their surrogate, feel comfortable enough to initiate a discussion around their need for a living donor. For more information, visit kentuckyonehealth.org/living-kidney-donor-transplant-program.
When a living person donates one of their kidneys to someone in need of a transplant, the donor can be a friend, relative or an anonymous donor. Jewish Hospital Transplant Care provides minimally invasive surgical techniques resulting in shorter hospital stays and a quicker recovery time, allowing the process for both the organ donor and the organ recipient to experience the miracle of organ transplant in the smoothest possible way.
Known for being a full-range, single-source transplant care program, The Trager Transplant Center provides every element of care necessary for both living donor and recipient. Throughout the entire donation process, their goal is to be the best in patient care by walking side-by-side in success with each individual.
Lives can be saved by individuals signing up to become organ-tissue donors through the state registry. Legislation passed in 2006 enables KY residents to have their wishes documented through the KY Organ Donor Registry.
For more information on Louisville’s only adult transplant program, visit their site or call 502.587.4939.
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