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Organ Donation

  • In: Encyclopedia of Epidemiology
  • Edited by: Sarah Boslaugh
  • Subject:Public Health (general), Public Health Research Methods , Epidemiology & Biostatistics

Organ donation has become the treatment of choice for end-stage renal disease (ESRD) in addition to other types of organ failure, notably heart, liver, and lung. By all accounts, the shortage of transplantable organs is a public health crisis with one person on the United Network of Organ sharing (UNOS) transplant waiting list dying approximately every 17 min. In 2005, there were more than 90,000 individuals awaiting transplantation.

There are two possible sources of organs for transplant: deceased organ donation that has provided the major source of transplantable organs and living donation usually, but not always, from the families of waiting recipients. Deceased donors are the only feasible source of heart donation and are by far the single most important source of livers, lungs, intestinal organs, ...

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