What to know about organ transplants in the Philadelphia region

    Organ donation paperwork.

    This Friday, Feb. 21, 2014 photo shows organ donation paperwork at Mid-America Transplant Services in St. Louis. (AP Photo/Whitney Curtis)

    The Pulse’s Maiken Scott and Taunya English discuss lingering myths surrounding the organ transplant system—and some possible fixes.

    Pulse host Maiken Scott and Senior Writer Taunya English spoke about lingering myths surrounding the organ transplant system—and some possible fixes.

    Some quick facts:

    There are different wait lists and somewhat different rules for each kind of organ.
    The Gift of Life Donor Program coordinates organ transplants for people in the Philadelphia tri-state region.
    People waiting for a kidney wait the longest. 5,338 people in the Philadelphia region are on the kidney transplant list.
    The Gift of Life Family House in Philadelphia provides low-cost accommodations for people and family members waiting for a donated organ.
    While most organs come from a deceased donor, living organ donation is possible for a full kidney or a section of liver or lung.
    Donor consent is especially low among African Americans. The sign-up rate is 31 percent in Philadelphia where the black population is large. In nearby Montgomery and Chester counties, the rate is nearly twice as high.
    There have been failed attempts in Pennsylvania and Delaware to switch to an opt-out organ donor system. That system presumes that applicants for a driver’s license or state I.D. want to be an organ donor—unless they explicitly decline.

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