Smoking, Alcohol and Organ Transplants

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  • Smoking, Alcohol and Organ Transplants
    • Smoking
      • Tobacco smoke contains carbon monoxide which combines irreversibly with haemoglobin in your red blood cells meaning the blood can carry less oxygen.
      • Tobacco is addictive because of the drug nicotine which makes blood clot more easily.
      • Tobacco smoke also contains carcinogens (chemicals that can cause cancer) such as tar which narrows and irritates air passages and increase the risk of lung and mouth cancer.
      • Smokers put themselves at an increased threat of strokes and heart and lung diseases such as bronchitis.
    • Alcohol
      • Short term effect: Alcohol slows down your reactions (increased reaction time), slurred speech, blurred vision, lower inhibition - more likely to have accidents, vomiting.
      • Long term: Brain damage, liver transpants, tolerance, dependence (alcoholism), cirrhosis - drinking too much too often causes death of liver cells forming scar tissue which blocks blood flow through the liver.
    • Organ transplants
      • If an organ is severely damaged it can be replaced by a donated natural organ.
      • As a result of the shortage of donors some people may be less likely to get an organ transplant. Other people may be considered only if they change their lifestyle:
        • 1. Obese people can have a greater risk of dying after surgery so they might have tot lose weight before they are considered.
        • 2. People who have damaged their liver through drinking too much might not be considered for a transplant unless they stop drinking.
      • Some people think that those who have harmed their own organs don't deserve an organ transplants as much as those who have failed organs because of illness.
        • But organ guidelines aren't based on who would deserve a transplant but who is most likely to benefit.


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