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Saturday, January 26, 2008

Organ Donation Glossary


Allocation - The system of ensuring that organs and tissues are distributed fairly to patients who are in need.


Blood vessels - The arteries, veins and capillaries through which blood circulates. Blood vessels can be donated and transplanted.

Bone - Dense tissue that forms the skeleton. Bone can be donated and transplanted.
Bone Marrow - Soft tissue located in the cavities of bones. Bone marrow is the source of all blood cells. Bone marrow can be donated and transplanted.
Brain Death - Occurs when a person’s brain activity stops permanently. It is impossible to return to life after brain death.
Cadaveric donors - Also called, non-living donors, are those who donate their organs or tissue after they have been declared brain dead.
Connective tissue - Forms the supportive and connective structures of the body.
Cornea - The transparent outer coat of the eyeball that covers the iris and pupil. Corneas can be donated and transplanted.
Donation - Is the act of giving one's organs or tissue to someone else.
End-Stage Organ Disease - A disease that leads, ultimately, to functional failure of an organ. Some examples are emphysema (lungs), cardiomyopathy (heart), and polycystic kidney disease (kidneys).
End-stage renal disease (ESRD) - A very serious and life-threatening kidney disease that minorities suffer much more frequently than do Whites. ESRD is treatable with dialysis, however, dialysis is costly and can result in a poor quality of life for the patient. The preferred treatment of ESRD is kidney transplantation. Transplantation offers the patient "freedom" from dialysis to lead a more normal lifestyle and can successfully treat ESRD for many years.
Heart - A muscular organ that pumps blood through the body. The heart can be donated and transplanted.
Heart valves - A tissue that prevent the back flow of blood into the heart. The heart valves can be donated and transplanted.
Immunosuppressive Drugs - Chemical agents that cause the human body not to produce antibodies that normally fight off foreign material in the body. The production of these antibodies needs to be suppressed in order to permit the acceptance of a donor organ by the recipient's body.
Intestines - The portion of the digestive track extending from the stomach to the anus, consisting of upper and lower segments. The intestines can be donated and transplanted.
Kidneys - A pair of organs that maintain proper water and electrolyte balance, regulate acid-base concentration, and filter the blood of metabolic waste, which is excreted as urine. Kidneys can be donated and transplanted.
Liver - A large reddish-brown organ that secretes bile and is active in the formation of certain blood proteins and in the metabolism of carbohydrates, fats, and proteins. The liver can be donated and transplanted.
Living Donors - Are persons who donate a kidney, part of a lung or part of a liver while they are still alive.
Lungs - A pair of two spongy organs that remove carbon dioxide from the blood and provide it with oxygen. The lungs can be donated and transplanted.
Middle-ear - Contains three small bones, or ossicles, known because of their shapes as the hammer, anvil and stirrup. The ear is the organ of hearing and equilibrium. The middle-ear can be donated and transplanted.
Organ Procurement Organizations (OPO) - Organizations that coordinate activities relating to organ retrieval (procurement) in a designated area. OPO activities include: evaluating potential donors, discussing donation with surviving family members, arranging for the surgical removal and transport of donated organs, and educating the public about the need for donations.
Pancreas - Long, irregularly shaped gland, which lies behind the stomach, and secretes pancreatic juice into the lower end of the stomach that aids in the digestion of proteins, carbohydrates, and fats. The pancreas can be donated and transplanted.
Procurement - The process of retrieving organs and/or tissue from a donor.
Recipient - A person who receives an organ or tissue transplant.
Skin - The tissue forming the external covering of the body. Skin can be donated and transplanted.
Tendon - Tough tissue that connects a muscle with a bone.
Transplant Centers - Hospitals or medical centers that perform organ and/or tissue transplants.
Transplantation - The transfer of cells, tissues, or organs from an area of the body to another of from one organism to another.
Transplantation, allogeneic (allograft) - Transplantation between genetically different members of the same species. Nearly all organ and bone marrow transplants are allografts. These may be between brothers and sisters, parents and children, or between donors and recipients who are not related to each other.
Transplantation, autologous - Transplantation of an organism’s own cell or tissues; autologous transplantation may be used to repair or replace damaged tissue; autologous bone marrow transplantation permits the usage of more severe and toxic cancer therapies by replacing bone marrow damaged by the treatment with marrow that was removed and stored prior to treatment.
Transplantation, xenogeneic (xenograft) - Transplantation between members of different species; for example, the transplantation of animal organs into humans.

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