Submitted by Claire Bloxom, Medical Center of Plano
The Medical Center of Plano recorded a more than threefold increase in organ donation during the past year, an achievement for which it is garnering accolades from the program that serves as the official link between donors and potential recipients throughout much of Texas.
Clinical outcomes from transplant centers across the United States show that, in 2012, a total of 85 patients received transplanted organs from 31 different donors at The Medical Center of Plano. In eight cases, the donors had given explicit authorization for the harvesting of organs through their participation in Texas’s electronic donor registry.
Those results reflect sharp increases in all categories compared to 2011, when organs from nine donors enabled life-saving transplants for 25 total recipients.
“This was a product of dedicated professionals working hard to preserve organ donation as an end-of-life option for individuals and their families,” said Jonathan D. Hewlett, donation development coordinator for the Southwest Transplant Alliance, one of the largest of the nation’s 58 federally designated organ-procurement organizations.
Hewlett especially praised the nurses in the hospital’s Emergency Department, as well as those in the neurological intensive care and surgical services units.
“My work takes me from El Paso to Corpus Christi, and from South Texas to the Red River, and nowhere else have I seen nurses with such a passion for organ donation,” Hewlett added. “The Medical Center of Plano is truly blessed to have so many of them under one roof.”
Nearly 117,000 patients in the U.S. currently await a second chance at life through an organ transplant. While each day an average of 79 people receive organ transplants, another 18 die waiting for transplants that cannot take place owing to the shortage of donated organs.
“One of our nation’s most pressing public health problems is the widening gap between the demand for donor organs and the existing supply,” said Troy A. Villarreal, FACHE, chief executive officer of The Medical Center of Plano. “Our results for 2012 testify to the high priority we place on helping ensure that the ‘gift of life’ is available on demand for the tens of thousands of patients who await transplants.”
Since 2003, The Medical Center of Plano has been part of the Leadership Circle of hospitals recognized by the Transplant Services Center of The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas.
The hospital ranks among the top 20 in the region in terms of organs donated and transplanted.