Today, Lourdes Regional Organ Transplantation Center is the only hospital in New Jersey south of New Brunswick that offers kidney, pancreas and liver transplant services. We have been performing kidney transplants since 1974, and later expanded our program in 1995 when Our Lady of Lourdes Medical Center became the first hospital in New Jersey to successfully perform a kidney-pancreas transplantation. In 2000, the Lourdes program continued to grow with the introduction of our Liver Transplantation Program.
Supported by our team of transplant surgeons and medical specialists (including specialists from nephrology, gastroenterology, hepatology, cardiology, endocrinology and anesthesiology) as well as nurses, technicians, dietitians, social workers and other support staff, we are proud to provide the highest possible level of care and support for our transplant patients and their families.
For more information about the Regional Organ Transplantation Center at Our Lady of Lourdes Medical Center, please call 856-757-3840.
Read more about organ transplantation:
How the Transplant System Works: Matching Donors and RecipientsBased on United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS) data as of December 1, 2003
Under contract with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Health Services & Resources Administration (HRSA), the United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS) maintains a centralized computer network linking all organ procurement organizations and transplant centers. This computer network is accessible 24 hours a day, seven days a week, with organ placement specialists in the UNOS Organ Center always available to answer questions.
After being referred by a doctor, a transplant center evaluates the patient for a possible transplant. The transplant center runs a number of tests and considers the patient's mental and physical health, as well as his or her social support system. If the center determines that the patient is a transplant candidate, they will add the patient's medical profile to the national patient waiting list for organ transplant. The patient is not placed on a ranked list at that time. Rather, the patient's name is added to the "pool" of patients waiting.
When a deceased organ donor is identified, a transplant coordinator from an organ procurement organization accesses the UNOS computer. Each patient in the "pool" is matched by the computer against the donor characteristics. The computer then generates a ranked list of patients for each organ that is procured from that donor in ranked order according to organ allocation policies. Factors affecting ranking may include tissue match, blood type, length of time on the waiting list, immune status and the distance between the potential recipient and the donor. For heart, liver, and intestines, the potential recipient's degree of medical urgency is also considered. Therefore, the computer generates a differently ranked list of patients for each donor organ matched.
The organ is offered to the transplant team of the first person on the list. Often, the top patient will not get the organ for one of several reasons. When a patient is selected, he or she must be available, healthy enough to undergo major surgery, and willing to be transplanted immediately. Also, a laboratory test to measure compatibility between the donor and recipient may be necessary. For example, patients with high antibody levels often prove incompatible to the donor organ and cannot receive the organ because the patient's immune system would reject it.
Once a patient is selected and contacted and all testing is complete, surgery is scheduled and the transplant takes place.
You can also find more information about organ donation on the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Web site for Organ Donation at www.organdonor.gov
About UNOSLocated in Richmond, Virginia, the United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS) is a non-profit, scientific and educational organization that administers the nation's only Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network, established by the U.S. Congress in 1984. UNOS is responsible for collecting and managing data about every transplant event occurring in the United States; facilitating the organ matching and placement process nationwide, and bringing together medical professionals, transplant recipients and donor families to develop organ transplantation policy.
For more information, go to www.unos.org
Organ Donation: Myths and FactsBased on United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS) data as of May, 2004
There is a severe organ shortage in this country. Despite continuing efforts at public education, there are still misconceptions and inaccuracies about donation. It is a tragedy if even one person decides against donation because they don't know the truth. Following is a list of the most common Myths along with the actual Facts:
Myth: If emergency room doctors know you're an organ donor, they won't work
as hard to save you.
Fact: If you are sick or injured and admitted to the hospital, the number one priority is to save your life. Organ donation can only be considered if you die and after your family has been consulted.
Myth: When you're waiting for a transplant, your financial or
celebrity status is as important as your medical status.
Fact: When you are on the transplant waiting list for a donor organ, what really counts is the severity of your illness, time spent waiting, blood type and other important medical information.
Myth: Having "organ donor" noted on your driver's license or carrying
a donor card is all you have to do to become a donor.
Fact: While a signed donor card and a driver's license with an "organ donor" designation are legal documents, organ and tissue donation is always discussed with family members prior to the donation. To ensure that your family understands your wishes, it is important that you tell your family about your decision to donate LIFE.
Myth: Only hearts, livers, and kidneys can be transplanted.
Fact: Needed organs include the heart, kidneys, pancreas, lungs, liver and intestines. Tissue that can be donated include the eyes, skin, bone, heart valves and tendons.
Myth: Your history of medical illness means your organs or tissues are
unfit for donation.
Fact: At the time of death, the appropriate medical professionals will review your medical and social histories to determine whether or not you can be a donor. With recent advances in transplantation, many more people than ever before can be donors. It is best to sign a donor card and tell your family your wishes.
Myth: You are too old to be a donor.
Fact: People of all ages and medical histories should consider themselves potential donors. Your medical condition at the time of death will determine what organs and tissue can be donated.
Myth: If you agree to donate your organs, your family will be charged
for the costs.
Fact: There is no cost to the donor's family or estate for organ and tissue donation. Funeral costs remain the responsibility of the family.
Myth: Organ donation disfigures the body and changes the way it looks
in a casket.
Fact: Donated organs are removed surgically, in a routine operation similar to gallbladder or appendix removal. Donation does not change the appearance of the body for the funeral service.
Myth: Your religion prohibits organ donation.
Fact: All major organized religions approve of organ and tissue donation and consider it an act of charity.
Myth: There is real danger of being heavily drugged, then waking to
find you have had one kidney (or both) removed for a black market
Fact: This tale has been widely circulated over the Internet. There is absolutely no evidence of such activity ever occurring in the U.S. While the tale may sound credible, it has no basis in the reality of organ transplantation. Many people who hear the Myth probably dismiss it, but it is possible that some believe it and decide against organ donation out of needless fear.
More Facts on Organ Transplantation
- On average, 106 people are added to the nation's organ transplant waiting list each day—one every 14 minutes.
- Organs and tissues that can be donated include: heart, kidneys, lungs, pancreas, liver, intestines, corneas, skin, tendons, bone and heart valves.
- On average, 17 people die each day while waiting for a organ transplant.
- There is no national registry of organ donors. Even if you have indicated your wishes on your drivers' license or a donor card, be sure you have told your family as they will be consulted before donation can take place.
- More than 82,000 people are on the nation's organ transplant waiting list.
- All major religions approve of organ and tissue donation and consider donation the greatest gift.
- On average, 17 patients die every day while awaiting an organ—one person every 85 minutes.
- An open-casket funeral is possible for organ and tissue donors.