WVU Medicine Camden Clark Celebrates Organ Donation | News, Sports, Jobs

WVU Medicine Camden Clark Medical Center employees gather outside the hospital’s north tower with a Donate Life flag on Friday, which was National Blue and Green Donate Life Day, promoting organ donation. April is National Gift for Life Month. (Photo by Evan Bevins)

PARKERSBURG – April is National Gift for Life Month, but WVU Medicine staff Camden Clark didn’t wait a long time to celebrate a life-saving gift.

When a hospital patient died at the end of January, staff from various departments gathered to honor the individual as his body was taken to the operating room so his organs could be harvested for a Don.

“The corridors were aligned from the patient’s room to the corridors and corridors leading to the operating room” Critical Care Nurse Holly Mahaney said. “The family was there… and they walked with the patient.

“It is important because it is a difficult decision to make and it saves several lives” she said. “So in their time of mourning, they make the generous decision to save others. “

Three organs were taken from the donor to be transplanted to people who needed them, Mahaney said.

Staff at WVU Medicine Camden Clark Medical Center line a hospital corridor as the body of an organ donor is taken to an operating room in January. (Photo provided)

Family members “Were very emotional and they were honored that everyone came to show their respect to their loved one”, she said. “It is also a very moving experience for the staff.

Among these staff was Amanda Swallie, Clinical Nurse Manager of the Advanced Care Unit. A few months earlier, her stepmother received a vital heart transplant at the Cleveland Clinic.

“She is doing fantastically well” Swallie said.

Due to COVID-19 restrictions, her family was unable to meet with the family of her mother-in-law’s heart donor. It added an extra dimension to seeing and honoring another donor and their family.

It was the first time the hospital has come together like this for an organ donor, but it won’t be the last, said Susan Abdella, director of emergency services and hospital liaison with Lifeline. of Ohio.

WVU Medicine Camden Clark Medical Center employees gather outside the hospital’s north tower with a Donate Life flag on Friday, which was National Blue and Green Donate Life Day, promoting organ donation. April is National Gift for Life Month. (Photo by Evan Bevins)

Lifeline promotes and coordinates organ and tissue donation in 38 counties in Ohio, as well as Wood and Hancock counties in West Virginia. Lifeline coordinated donations from 165 donors in 2020, resulting in 517 organ transplants and 446 lives saved, according to its website lifelineofohio.org.

They also recovered tissue from 584 donors and corneas from 234.

Abdella noted that blood tests and other measures must be taken to ensure that donors and recipients are compatible and to minimize the risk of rejection. There is a time limit between harvesting and transplantation, depending on the organ.

In 2020, 409 potential donors died at Camden Clark. After selection by Lifeline, 76 were deemed eligible. In the end, three people donated a total of nine organs, in addition to the hospital having 14 tissue donors, Abdella said.

According to the Federal Administration of Resources and Health Services, 39,000 organ transplants were performed in 2020. But more than 107,000 people are on the national transplant waiting list and 17 people die every day while waiting for an organ transplant. organ.

An employee of WVU Medicine Camden Clark Medical Center wears a Friday T-shirt promoting organ donation. (Photo provided)

Abdella and Swallie said it is important for people to consider organ donation and discuss it with their families in advance.

“Talk to someone. Reach out to someone. Get all your questions answered, “ Swallie said. “It really is a miracle.”

One organ donor can potentially save eight lives, while one tissue donor can benefit 75.

Evan Bevins can be contacted at ebevins@newsandsentinel.com

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Staff at WVU Medicine Camden Clark Medical Center line a hospital hallway in January to honor an organ donor and his family as his body is taken to an operating room. (Photo provided)

Want to help?

People can register as organ, eye and tissue donors when they receive their driver’s license or ID card. They can also do this online at:

* donatelife.wv.gov

* www.donatelifeohio.org

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