EXCLUSIVES
FacebookTwitterLinkedInGoogle+RSS Feed
Fire EMSEMS TodayEMS Insider

Organ Ambulances

LANCASTER, Pa. -- With nearly 100,000 Americans awaiting an organ transplant, we're interested in a new New York City initiative designed to increase the number of donated organs.

The plan is a relatively simple one: A special ambulance will be ready to respond if emergency paramedics declare a person dead at home or in a location other than a hospital. The ambulance will be equipped to preserve organs, while speeding to a transplant hospital.

The Washington Post reported that New York paramedics, working under the direction of a doctor, currently try for about 30 minutes to revive patients whose hearts have stopped. If the effort is unsuccessful, the patient is usually declared dead at the scene.

Once death occurs, organs begin to deteriorate. Special steps must be taken to continue oxygen flow to the organs if they are to be transplanted successfully.

Because of this, deaths that occur outside hospitals are often problematic when it comes to harvesting organs - even if the deceased has expressed wishes to have his or her organs reused.

The New York ambulance is aimed at combating this and enlarging the pool of organs available.

We acknowledge the idea of an ambulance roaming the streets to gather organs may be a bit ghoulish. Bioethicists have expressed concern that family members could be pressured into approving organ donation simply by the arrival of the ambulance.

That's why strict procedures must be in place if this program is to succeed. New York officials already have declared that there must be a five-minute cooling off'' period between the time a person is declared dead and when the transplant team takes possession of the body.

We would also hope that program directors give careful thought to how the team handles itself and what is said to family members or others who likely might be shocked by the sudden death of a loved one.

But the program, which is being funded with a federal grant, has a lot of value. It's estimated that if similar programs were expanded nationwide, it might increase the pool of transplants by as many as 35,000 a year.

That would do a lot to cut the waiting list of people who are literally dying for a donated organ.

RELATED ARTICLES

Wisconsin City Council Turns Over EMS to Hospital

Vote in Platteville transfers control of EMS to Southwest health Center.

21 People Rescued From Drifting Houseboat in Texas

Austin-Travis County EMS said none of the occupants were injured.

Austin-Travis County EMS Honored with Mission: Lifeline Gold Award

AHA award recognizes successful implementation of quality improvement measures.

Construction Worker injured in fall at Maine Water Treatment Plant

Firefighters had to cut through reinforcing bar to access the patient.

Wisconsin Council Votes on Ambulance Service Change

Vote could move responsibility of EMS delivery to area hospital.

Ohio Law Would Allow EMTs to Treat Injured Animals

Proposed bill would not allow people to call 911 for pets.

Features by Topic

Featured Careers

 

JEMS TV

FEATURED VIDEO TOPICS

Learn about new products and innovations featured at EMS Today 2015

 

JEMS Connect

CURRENT DISCUSSIONS

 
 

EMS BLOGS

Blogger Browser

Today's Featured Posts