Comments: 1310 • Responses: 39  • Date: 

adeiner707 karma

How many organs can the average person donate? Like if an older person dies can we really donate all their organs or are they too used?

Jrodrgr375th835 karma

The average is close to 3. Liver and both kidneys! Resilient organs that can take a beating. The highest “age limit” I see now is about 80

gulpacha648 karma

Does family members get dibs on organ donations? If they needed it?

Jrodrgr375th668 karma

Yes! It’s called a directed donation. As long as your loved one is listed

radioactivecowz251 karma

Other than medical transplants, what are donated organs most commonly used for?

Jrodrgr375th301 karma

Research. Diabetics, CF, and other end stage diseases

Sora20XX14 karma

So does this mean that there’s reason to be on a donation register even if you don’t have anything worth something to someone from a transplanting perspective?

Jrodrgr375th23 karma

What exactly is keeping you from registering. There are experts that determine that very thing for you. If you have some sort of disease that keeps you from donating they will know

MrBalloonHand165 karma

I want to donate part of my liver anonymously but can't afford to take a bunch of time off work. It seems kind of silly that this is what's stopping me, though, but that's basically it. I live in the US. Is the whole situation just fucked, or is there some reasonable way for a working class uninsured person to do this?

Jrodrgr375th233 karma

Living liver donation is pretty new and is run strictly by they transplant center. DM me your region and I will help you with that! That is also the most selfless thing I’ve heard. You are an amazing person

Edit: Selfish to selfless

Brooker92162 karma

What is something most people don't realise, will rule a person out as a doner?

Jrodrgr375th230 karma

Donation/transplant is ever changing. It’s not about ruling out anymore as is it about ruling in. We must never forget what it takes for someone to be a donor. A life must be lost. If we’ve lost one life let’s give to another in any way possible.

The direct rule outs are a lot to list but let the experts figure that out after you register

pauliewantacracker122 karma

Are there some organs that are rejected more often than others? Do all organ transplants require immunosuppressive drugs forever, or are there cases in which after a certain time frame they are not needed?

Jrodrgr375th112 karma

Pancreas and small bowel are the least transplanted following lung. As you can see a lot of donors aspirate when they suffer a neuro injury and then they have a pneumonia which isn’t ideal for transplant.

GeneticPhotographer17 karma

When you say pancreas do you mean in total or pancreas alone? I work in an HLA lab and we do a fair amount of crossmatches for KP offers, although it is a lot fewer than kidney alone.

Jrodrgr375th36 karma

You do a lot of pancreas crosshatch offers because they arnt getting placed! You’d do less if the pancreas was placed quickly

balanced_human86 karma

Would you recommend living donation of a kidney between siblings? What negative consequences are there for the donor?

Jrodrgr375th83 karma

Living donation is truly a gift! Please trust the transplant surgeons in place to consider if you are both ready for surgery.

targ_79 karma

Hey! Do you think the organ donation rumours in China are just rumours or is there anything you see as evidence to support those claims?

Jrodrgr375th103 karma

I have no idea. There would have to be a huge system in place. It’s not as easy as just taking a kidney and putting it into just anyone. I know China is a hot topic but I can’t actually speak to what’s going on their besides the obvious logistics it would take

ALasagnaForOne68 karma

My partner and I have very different feelings on organ donation. I’m a donor and think it’s the responsible thing to do once you’re gone and not using your body parts anymore. My partner comes from old school type parents that instilled in him a mistrust doctors. He has heard that sometimes families of comatose patients will be pushed to “pull the plug” sooner if they’re an organ donor, and he assumes that being a public organ donor means the richest and most privileged will have first access to your organs after death which he doesn’t like. I would love to refute his points but I just don’t know enough about it. Is there any truth to what he’s been led to believe?

Jrodrgr375th108 karma

Oh this is a food one! First of all the hospital does not run organ donation (for obvious reasons). They don’t have access to the database of who is a donor or who is not and they do not care. The ER/ICU doctor only care about saving your life and that’s it.

“Pulling the plug” is a whole separate issue and a very long drawn out conversation. It’s almost always a family decision after their loved one has suffered a significant brain injury that will not sustain life outside of “machines” keeping you alive.

Wealth has nothing to do with priority of how people are listed. For that system to be corrupt there would have to be too many people involved and it just doesn’t make sense. I can break it down further but it’s a complicated discussion.

Donation is highly regulated

ALasagnaForOne20 karma

Pretty much what I told him but I definitely don’t have the experience in that industry to back it up. Thank you so much! Really hoping I can eventually change his mind.

Jrodrgr375th33 karma

It’s a continued legacy that we leave behind. I’m not a car sales men but I am a dual advocate for my donors and their recipients of those life changing gifts.

Im_not_a_reCAPTCHA58 karma

Since organs are really pricey, surely there would be like a shady black market for organ harvesting. If an organ black market exists have you had any encounters with it?

Jrodrgr375th79 karma

I’m in the US and there is zero market for that. I could lay out the scenario for such a market but too many people would have to be involved and it just isn’t possible fiscally for anyone

afunnywold30 karma

I read a few articles of China killing Muslim uyghurs to sell organs to Saudi Arabia. For example: https://www.businessinsider.com/china-harvesting-organs-of-uighur-muslims-china-tribunal-tells-un-2019-9?amp

Jrodrgr375th40 karma

Give me a day to read this and I promise I will respond

IEpicDestroyer26 karma

Keep in mind, China has a very active black market for organs. They kill political prisoners for transplants within the country, usually very very quickly (like hardly a noticeable waiting list).

Google it, there's plenty of articles :)

Jrodrgr375th19 karma

I’ll look into it but they’d need to die in a very specific way. I’ll come back with some answers (hopefully)

Sonjainthe80s49 karma

Do you see disparities between who gets an organ and who doesn’t? In other words is there racial or other discrimination in the system?

Jrodrgr375th62 karma

Sickest, closest and if there is a pediatric. I run the list and follow it strictly. If you have specific questions on why it’s that way feel free to ask

itrippledmyself11 karma

How subjective is "sickest"?

A very sick person could have disease that will require another transplant later, even if they get one today. Does this factor in to the calculus?

I know for some treatments, other extant conditions and age are not allowed to be considered and the decision makers are not even presented with this information... (e.g. when ventilators were being rationed and triage plans were being designed/vetted)

Jrodrgr375th19 karma

Sickest falls on your doctor a bunch of different factors that include lab values and current treatments. Those values change as research changes.

johndoesall47 karma

I’m on a kidney transplant list a little under three years. PKD. The transplant rep asked if I wanted to accept at risk kidneys. I.e. donor had hep abc, drug users, etc. are those kidneys safe to accept?

Jrodrgr375th50 karma

Tough question. You need to have a long talk with your doctor about that and ask very specific questions and I am not your doctor.

I can say this though, if I were in need of a life saving organ and knowing what makes a donor “high risk” I would take that chance if my doctor recommended it

ricon26445 karma

If someone who received an organ transplant dies, can they “redonate” the organ they received?

Jrodrgr375th64 karma

99% of the time no.

dustypeanutshells44 karma

How do doctors know if organs are in good enough condition for donation?

Jrodrgr375th62 karma

Amazing question! Age, medical history labs imaging all play a part. There are sooooo many people waiting to receive life saving gifts that donation is ever changing.

Romey-Romey27 karma

Pop quiz: 40 year old who has never been to a doctor. What do you do, hot-shot?

Jrodrgr375th41 karma

Head to toe CT and access labs. Unless you have some sort of cancer of end stage organ disease you’ll likely be a donor ;)

RDState53036 karma

If you had to encourage organ donation to a person who is reluctant to register, how would you approach that conversation?

Jrodrgr375th69 karma

First, it’s a donation that you are so graciously giving but that gift is life to another. Second, I would say you have created a legacy in life and now let’s find a way to extend it into the afterlife!

Lastly I would ask what the hang up about donation is? Maybe we can dispel misinformation here!

corgocracy30 karma

I have a medical condition which forbids me from donating blood. Should I still register myself as an organ donor or will that cause more harm than good?

Jrodrgr375th43 karma

Such a beautiful question. First of all, yes you should register because transplant is always changing and 2nd what is your medical condition so I can hopefully give you a straight forward answer

PoorAladdin26 karma

What is the typical process to save organs after extraction and how quickly we need to get them to a hospital for replacement? Pls let us know for critical organs

Jrodrgr375th31 karma

Usually organ recovery takes about 36-50 hours with the understanding the pt is brain dead. Outside the body thoracic organs are only good for a few hours (heart lungs) and livers are good for about 6 hours and kidneys can be pumped for about 24-30 hours

z3m0s20 karma

Although not exactly the same thing obviously I recently had a stem cell transplant and was interested to find out the weird rules around meeting the donar, at least in certain locations there's rules around not meeting the donar for a set amount of time or even not at all in some countries, my question is, is there similar rules in place for organ donation? And if so, why? I couldn't exactly find much info about it online.

Jrodrgr375th20 karma

I love these! It’s possible to meet the donor but HIPAA prevents us from directly sharing patient info so we must do it in a. Intelligent fashion. DM your region and I’ll try everything I can to work that out with you!

StarFlower717 karma

When you donate your organs, do they tend to cremate people because of how much of a mess it can be to put back together the body?

Jrodrgr375th38 karma

Body integrity is a high priority a common misconception. There is a single cut involved in transplant and does not effect body integrity.

athenajewel16 karma

Why do doctors remove the gallbladder instead of trying for transplant? Is it possible to get a gallbladder transplant? I know some people have problems when they get it removed so that’s why I’m asking.

Jrodrgr375th22 karma

The gallbladder is not a transplantable organ.

ricon26415 karma

I know this may sound dumb, but as someone who knows about organ donation, do you think it will ever be possible for a brain to be transplanted into another body and for that person to keep living?

Jrodrgr375th22 karma

100% no

Hackinyeti12 karma

Aside from smoking and drinking, what are the worst things I can do to my body that would make donation useless or less viable?

Jrodrgr375th17 karma

Haha well...smoking and drinking are high up there but obesity plays a huge factor. Your organs are a lot mor resilient than you think!

terrorcatmom9 karma

How does one approach the conversation when their loved one has died and the family wants to keep them whole, but the person expressed wishes to donate? How do people handle this conversation?

Jrodrgr375th13 karma

Amazing question! Their loved one has already made that challenging decision for them. They’ve made that end of life decision and decided that they want their legacy to continue in another way which is organ donation.

It’s terrible that a life must be lost and a family had to suffer through that. We have to hold on to the fact that has additional legacy attached to it that will live on in someone else.

GrandmaSlappy5 karma

I feel really skeeved out that my organs may go inside someone I find deplorable. Generally I don't wish ill on anyone but being physically part of a bad person scares the shit out of me.

This will probably make people think badly of me...

Is there or will there ever be a way to control where your organs go or have a family member arbitrate?

Jrodrgr375th7 karma

Directed donation will send any organ to a loved one who is listed.

Let’s remember that this is a donation and a individual decision. I can’t promise you it goes to the perfect person but we are are humans trying to wiggle our way through this life. We all deserve a chance

lavender_menses2 karma

Very interesting thread! Can you talk more about your job? How did you end up in this line of work, what qualifications/degrees do you have, and what is a typical day like for you?

Jrodrgr375th3 karma

Oooooh such a cool question.

This job is like spinning 50 plates at once. Drop one and the whole thing comes crashing down

To start you need a baseline understanding of critical care. An RN, paramedic, PA, NP are all great. We will teach you transplant and donation and then donor physiology. Medicine plays a role and an Important one for placing organs but is one of the smallest.

Our shifts are 24 hours and include everything from triaging initial donor referrals, educating hospital staff, approaching family for organ donation, managing donor patients (we function at a provider level), understanding the OR and organ anatomy.

That’s a brief run down. A typical day for my can run from slow/chill day to absolute chaos and finding organs for a dying donor. It’s the most rewarding job I’ve ever had and I’ll never look back. I love talking about donation and wk spend hours doing so. If I didn’t answer the best feel free to ask more specific questions

monster_girl1 karma


Jrodrgr375th3 karma

Giving life is an such an incredible act. In the same ends taking your life effects so many people. Please reach for help 1-800-273-8255.

I can’t express enough how many people are in this world that care and love you.

Gaglardi1 karma

In your experience, what are the most unexpected destinations for donated organs? Ex: will my kidney go to some college class and be poked at by a bunch of stoners learning biology?

Jrodrgr375th1 karma

Research is always something you or your family can opt out of. However research isn’t what you think it is. A research organ is usually going to a group of doctors/scientist that are specifically researching ways to improve people’s life’s with end stage organ diseases. An organ will likely not be wasted on “a bunch of stoners”. It’s a precious gift