Old Organs Give New Hope - NewsChannel5.com | Nashville News, Weather & Sports

Old Organs Give New Hope

Posted: Updated:

BALTIMORE (Ivanhoe Newswire) - More than 90,000 Americans are on the waiting list for a kidney donation. In some parts of the country, it can take up to 10 years, and many people in need die before an organ becomes available. Now, using organs from older donors could be a game-changer.

Married 49 years, Bob and Sue Brown are a perfect match.

"We've always been best friends. Everything we do, we do together," Bob brown told Ivanhoe.

When Sue needed a kidney, Bob hoped he'd be her perfect match again.

"He didn't hesitate. He just stepped up to the plate," Sue Brown told Ivanhoe.

But Bob was 75 at the time, and wondered if he might be too old to be a donor.

Dr. Dorry Segev said it's a common concern among older people who want to donate.

"You're not too old. If you're healthy, you can donate, even if you're over 70," Dorry Segev, M.D., Ph.D., associate professor of surgery and epidemiology director of clinical research, transplant surgery director of information technology at Johns Hopkins medical institutions, explained.

He recently conducted a study supporting that. In it, patients who received donated kidneys from people over 70 were not any more likely to die within 10 years of transplantation compared to people who received kidneys from younger donors. Also, the older donors lived longer than non-donors of the same age.

"We are realizing that if somebody is healthy, chronological age is not the same as medical age," Dr. Segev said.

But the research shows kidneys from older donors are more likely to fail within ten years compared to kidneys from younger donors. The doctor said they are still a better option than waiting for an organ from a deceased donor and they could help lessen the national shortage.

"If we can bring forward more healthy older adults, then they can make a huge impact," Dr. Segev added.

Bob was able to donate his kidney to Sue.

"She needed one, and I gave it to her," Bob said.

"He's just that kind of person that does the right thing," Sue said.

While they share kidneys, the couple looks forward to sharing their next big adventure, a cruise of the great lakes.

The doctor said older organ donations are becoming more common. He said older deceased donors may also be considered as long as their organs are healthy.

RESEARCH SUMMARY

WHO CAN DONATE ORGANS: Just about anyone, at any age, can become an organ donor. Anyone younger than 18 needs to have the consent of a parent or guardian. For organ donation after death, a medical assessment will be done to determine what organs can be donated. Certain conditions, such as having HIV, actively spreading cancer, or severe infection would exclude organ donation. Having a serious condition like cancer, HIV, diabetes, kidney disease, or heart disease can prevent you from donating as a living donor. Let your transplant team know about any health conditions you have at the beginning of the process. Then they can decide whether you're a good candidate. (Source: WebMD.com)

STATISTICS & FACTS FOR PEOPLE 50+: More than 99 million individuals in the U.S. are 50 years of age and over. People of all ages can sign up to be donors, even in their 50s, 60s, and 70s. People over 50 can be transplant recipients as well. Your age doesn't make you ineligible to sign up, nor do you have to be in perfect health. Your ability to donate is determined at the time of death. Organ and tissue transplants are needed by people in every corner of America; people of all ages, from infants to grandparents, are on the national transplant waiting list. Two thirds of the individuals waiting for an organ transplant in 2011 were 50 years old or older. That year 2,242 deceased donors were between 50–64 years of age. Five hundred and ninety-five deceased donors were 65 or older. In 2011, 17,089 of the 28,535—or 59.9 percent—of the people transplanted were 50+. According to the 2005 National Survey of Organ and Tissue Donation Attitudes and Behaviors, conducted by The Gallup Organization, 20.13 percent of people over 65 years of age mistakenly think they are too old to donate an organ while 11.73 percent believe they are too old to receive one. As of April 13, 2012, according to OPTN, there are 51,718 people between 50 and 64 years old on the national waiting list and 21,172 people over 65 years old on the national waiting list. (Source: organdonor.gov)

HOW TO BECOME AN ORGAN DONOR: Sign up as an organ and tissue donor in your state's donor registry. To cover all bases, designate your decision on your driver's license, tell your family about your donation decision, tell your physician, faith leader, and friends, and include donation in your advance directives, will, and living will. (Source: organdonor.gov)


FOR MORE INFORMATION, CONTACT:

Stephanie Desmon
(410) 956-8665
Sdesmon1@jhmi.edu

  • Medical News HeadlinesMedical News HeadlinesMore>>

  • Washing Lungs & Breathing Better

    Washing Lungs & Breathing Better

    Wednesday, April 16 2014 5:15 PM EDT2014-04-16 21:15:09 GMT
    Imagine not being able to breathe without struggling: every breath you take is work; every breath you take could be your last. That was the case for one man who became dependent on an oxygen tank to stay alive.more>>
    Imagine not being able to breathe without struggling: every breath you take is work; every breath you take could be your last. That was the case for one man who became dependent on an oxygen tank to stay alive.more>>
  • Ocular Melanoma: Saving Lives, Saving Eyes

    Ocular Melanoma: Saving Lives, Saving Eyes

    Friday, April 11 2014 5:15 PM EDT2014-04-11 21:15:07 GMT
    Ocular melanoma, also called uveal melanoma, is a rare type of melanoma that targets the eye. It can be a deadly if it isn't spotted early enough. Now, there's a way to treat patients that's saving lives and saving eyes.more>>
    Ocular melanoma, also called uveal melanoma, is a type of melanoma that targets the eye. It affects about 2,000 people a year in the United States. Although rare – it can be a deadly if it isn't spotted early enough. Now, there's a way to treat patients that's saving lives and saving eyes.more>>
  • Memory Palace: Coping With Chemo Brain

    Memory Palace: Coping With Chemo Brain

    Thursday, April 10 2014 5:15 PM EDT2014-04-10 21:15:09 GMT
    More than 13 million Americans are living with some form of cancer. Harsh treatments like chemo and radiation save lives, but they will also change lives. Now, many cancer survivors are learning how to cope with chemo brain.more>>
    More than 13 million Americans are living with some form of cancer. Harsh treatments like chemo and radiation save lives, but they will also change lives. Now, many cancer survivors are learning how to cope with chemo brain.more>>
  • Pedaling For A Cure

    Pedaling For A Cure

    Wednesday, April 9 2014 5:15 PM EDT2014-04-09 21:15:09 GMT
    Five years ago, Leslie Trudeau's world came crashing down. At just 22 years old, her son Taylor lost his battle with leukemia. That's why Trudeau is pedaling for a cure.more>>
    Five years ago, Leslie Trudeau's world came crashing down. At just 22 years old, her son Taylor lost his battle with leukemia. That's why Trudeau is pedaling for a cure.more>>
  • Bringing Hearts Back To Life: New Improved Defibrillator

    Bringing Hearts Back To Life: New Improved Defibrillator

    Tuesday, April 8 2014 5:15 PM EDT2014-04-08 21:15:13 GMT
    CPR and a portable defibrillator helped keep Eric Robinson alive after he went into cardiac arrest. And now a newly FDA approved Biotronik implantable cardiac defibrillator, or ICD, constantly monitors his heart.more>>
    A year ago, while jamming with his son's band, Eric Robinson went into cardiac arrest. CPR and a portable defibrillator helped keep Robinson alive. And now a newly FDA approved Biotronik implantable cardiac defibrillator, or ICD, constantly monitors his heart.more>>
  • Helping High Risk Hearts

    Helping High Risk Hearts

    Monday, April 7 2014 5:15 PM EDT2014-04-07 21:15:09 GMT
    Ironing is not exactly Barbara Roy's favorite activity, but it's something she's glad she can do again. Her doctor diagnosed her with severe aortic stenosis.more>>
    Ironing is not exactly Barbara Roy's favorite activity, but it's something she's glad she can do again. Her doctor diagnosed her with severe aortic stenosis.more>>
  • Hernias In Newborns: Lincoln's Story

    Hernias In Newborns: Lincoln's Story

    Friday, April 4 2014 5:15 PM EDT2014-04-04 21:15:07 GMT
    Congenital diaphragmatic hernias occur in about one in every 2,000 births. They can be deadly, but now doctors are using a more aggressive treatment approach.more>>
    Congenital diaphragmatic hernias occur in about one in every 2,000 births. They can be deadly, but now doctors are using a more aggressive treatment approach.more>>
  • Predicting Bad Hearts

    Predicting Bad Hearts

    Thursday, April 3 2014 5:15 PM EDT2014-04-03 21:15:09 GMT
    Every year, more than 700,000 Americans have a heart attack. Now, researchers at Baylor Research Institute at Dallas have uncovered a biomarker that may help them spot the disease sooner.more>>
    Every year, more than 700,000 Americans have a heart attack. And 600,000 die of heart disease. Now, researchers at Baylor Research Institute at Dallas have uncovered a biomarker that may help them spot the disease sooner; and they did it by pure accident.more>>
  • Giving Shannon A Voice Of Her Own

    Giving Shannon A Voice Of Her Own

    Wednesday, April 2 2014 5:15 PM EDT2014-04-02 21:15:05 GMT
    More than half a million children under age 15 has a severe communication disorder impairing their ability to speak or communicate with others. Now, advances in technology are giving them a voice—some for the first time.more>>
    More than half a million children under age 15 has a severe communication disorder impairing their ability to speak or communicate with others. Now, advances in technology are giving them a voice—some for the first time.more>>
  • Getting On Your Nerves To Save Your Heart

    Getting On Your Nerves To Save Your Heart

    Tuesday, April 1 2014 5:15 PM EDT2014-04-01 21:15:06 GMT
    Heart failure is the fastest growing cardiovascular disorder in the U.S., affecting more than 6 million people. However, now a new device that gets on your nerves could help save those with heart failure.more>>
    Heart failure is the fastest growing cardiovascular disorder in the U.S., affecting more than 6 million people. It occurs when a person's heart is too weak to pump and circulate blood in the body. However, now a new device that gets on your nerves could help save those with heart failure.more>>
Powered by WorldNow
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 NewsChannel 5 (WTVF-TV) and WorldNow. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.