Oklahoma patient makes medical history with life-saving donations

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OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – An Oklahoma patient who passed away from circulatory death has made medical history with a life-saving donation.

Officials with LifeShare of Oklahoma say seven of the donor’s organs were transplanted into others to save lives. This is the first donation after circulatory death in the United States where the heart, kidneys, lungs, liver, and pancreas were recovered and transplanted.

“LifeShare is honored to facilitate this groundbreaking work from a heroic donor. This is a giant step in the field of organ donation which will ultimately result in more lives saved,” said Jeffrey Orlowski, President and CEO of LifeShare of Oklahoma. “The use of more organs from complex donors, such as DCD donors, will accelerate the increase of transplantation and ultimately lives saved.”

Donation after circulatory death occurs when a patient has suffered an irreversible, non-survivable injury and their family has decided to withdraw mechanical ventilator support.

Historically, only kidneys, livers, and lungs have been donated after a person dies from circulatory death. A new technological advancement that is currently in U.S. clinical trials has allowed physicians to evaluate and preserve the heart for transplant for the first time in connection to certain deaths.

“This is a prime example of both organ procurement organizations (OPOs) and transplant centers exploring opportunities to maximize the gifts from donation,” Orlowski said.  “At LifeShare, we are stewards of the donors’ gifts of life and we are proud to be part of pioneering new techniques that will ultimately allow more people to give and receive the gift of life.”

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