It may seem like a scary thing if a doctor tells you that the upcoming organ that will be transplanted into your body comes from a drug addict. Maybe you believe that the organs will be filled with the drugs that killed them or that you can contract new infections. It is important to know the truths as well as the risks of getting a donor from a drug addict to prevent yourself from turning away a donation that can save your life.
UW Medicine’s Chief of Transplantation Surgery Dr. Jorge Reyes has spoken about the controversy of receiving organs that originally belonged to a drug addict. He explained that the risks of that follow getting an organ from someone who struggled with addiction is the risk of transmitting Hepatitis C, Hepatitis B, and HIV. Fortunately, these are conditions that can now be managed compared to decades ago. There have been a lot of patients who died of drug overdoses who were negative in transmitting an infection. Normally, these organs are donated to people with a history of Hepatitis C. Organs can still be donated to patients without a history of Hepatitis C if they are to die within thirty days. Even if the body of the drug addict has been exposed to these infections, organs like the liver are still normal and Hepatitis C can be easily treated.
There are some cases where organs cannot be used from a drug addict like if someone died of a Tylenol overdose, their liver would not be safe to use but doctors can still use the kidneys. Many drug addicts die from respiratory failure or a rupture in intracranial vessels as a result of drug overdoses that leads to the organs being unharmed and patients receiving the same outcomes as other types of donors. UW Medicine said that the transmission of infection is 30% but manageable such as bacterial infection, fungal infection, urinary tract infection, pneumonia, and bacteremia. Patients are informed about their donor’s death and well as their donor’s history. Especially in cases where the risk of infection has increased in the donor. If you are to get a donor from a Hepatitis C donor, the patient is normally to sign a consent form. With the opioid epidemic on the rise, organ donation can be the only blessing in disguise to help save lives of those who really need new organs.
Located in Tacoma, Washington, Bayview Center’s mission is to offer clinically-driven programs and services to treat a number of substance abuse disorders along with anxiety and depression using cognitive behavioral therapy, dialectical behavioral therapy, trauma therapy, yoga therapy, and more for a successful recovery. For more information, please call us at 888 570 7154 as we are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.