than 1,600 people in Wisconsin — and some 111,500 nationwide — are
waiting for an organ transplant. You can help by registering as a
More than half
of age-eligible Wisconsinites either have an orange organ donor
sticker on their driver’s license or have registered online, notes
Jay Campbell of BloodCenter of Wisconsin. Online registration is
legally binding. Donation advocates note that it allows donation to go
forward if the driver’s license cannot be located, or if a family
member can’t or won’t give consent.
FAQ pages discuss age and health eligibility, religious practices, how
donation affects funerals, and how donated organs, tissue and eyes are
used. The site also lists websites related to blood, bone marrow and
other types of living donation.
While just three
hospitals in the Milwaukee area are transplant centers, 45 hospitals
in eastern Wisconsin work with the Wisconsin Donor Network.
When a hospital
in its 12-county service area has a patient who potentially could
become an organ donor, the network dispatches a medical team to
evaluate the case. For instance, last year the network was notified
306 times regarding patients at Columbia St. Mary’s Ozaukee.
Donor Network team also includes specially trained staff, mostly
former intensive care nurses, who meet with the patient’s family.
them the opportunity to realize one small good thing that can come
from this, to save other lives," says Jay Campbell, vice
president of organ and tissue donation for BloodCenter of Wisconsin,
which runs the Wisconsin Donor Network.
percent of families who are approached agree to have their dying loved
ones become donors, one of the best rates in the country.
success has repeatedly been recognized by the U.S. Department of
Health and Human Services; last year, Waukesha Memorial was one of
eight nationwide recipients of HHS’s top award for increasing organ
nationwide, only 1 to 2 percent of all deaths could result in organ
Since 1988, more
than 3,600 deceased Wisconsinites have been organ donors. Last year,
542 transplants from deceased donors were performed in Wisconsin.
Eight of every 10 organs donated in southeastern Wisconsin stay in the
It takes at
least 10 hours (and as long as 48 hours) for the nationally regulated
matching process and for organs to be removed from the donor and taken
to the hospital where the recipient patient is located. Locally, only
Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin, Froedtert and St. Luke’s Medical
Center are transplant centers.
that one donor’s organs can save the lives of up to nine people,
because the liver can be split for two recipients. One case last year
at Wheaton Franciscan – St. Joseph, for example, resulted in the
donation of the heart, liver and both kidneys.