Biology revision (transplants)

risks of transplants

  • Risk of rejection of the transplanted organ
  • Increased risk of infection due to the immunosuppressant medications
  • Any of the side effects of the immunosuppressant medications as previously discussed.
  • Very small risk for acquiring AIDS, Hepatitis B, other viruses, or cancer from the donor organ - Organ donors are screened very carefully for these diseases, however on rare occasion, they are undetectable and may be passed to the recipient.
  • Potential for a blood transfusion due to blood loss in the operating room and related risk for the transmission of infectious diseases from a blood donor. Blood donors are screened very carefully, but there may be a rare case when a disease may be undetectable and may be passed to the recipient.
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transplant facts

FACT: You are more likely to need a transplant than become a donor. 

FACT: A donor can donate a heart, lungs, two kidneys, pancreas, liver and small bowel and restore the sight of two others. 

FACT: Donors can also give bone and tissue such as skin, heart valves and tendons. Skin grafts have helped people with severe burns and bone is used in orthopaedic surgery. 

FACT: The majority of relatives agree to organ donation. Objection is virtually unknown if family members are aware that their loved ones wanted to donate. This is why it is so important for people to discuss organ and tissue donation with their families.

FACT: Most organ donations come from people who have died while on a ventilator in a hospital intensive care unit. Organs, particularly hearts and lungs, deteriorate very quickly without an oxygen supply and the ventilator is able to keep blood and oxygen circulating after death.

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