New Organ Donation Record

January 25th, 2018

A record number of organ donors at John Peter Smith Hospital provided lifesaving transplants for 175 people in 2017.

JPS Donor Memorial Screen

Among 2017 donors was Adrian Lopez, 22, whose memorial screen is the latest addition to the JPS Donor Memorial on the second floor of the Patient Care Pavilion.

“That represents a lot of hard work by a lot of dedicated people,” said Robert Early, Donation System Specialist with LifeGift, the regional organ procurement organization (OPO). LifeGift and JPS work in concert, making every attempt to see that the wishes of registered organ donors and their families are fulfilled.

There were 60 organ donors at JPS last year, shattering the previous record of 48 set in 2013. The last five donors of 2017 came in December despite the crush of flu, which filled area hospitals to capacity.

Among those whose lives were saved in December were two women who had waited a combined 5,091 days for transplants, both of which were performed at a hospital in the Medical District. Each received a kidney from the same JPS donor.

Organs recovered in 2017 included twice as many lungs as the year before, the result of new protocols developed at JPS by Respiratory Therapist Vicki Burch. Those practices are now in place at hospitals throughout LifeGift’s service area, which includes northwest and southeast Texas.

The number of cornea transplants performed at JPS also doubled last year. Among JPS donor families, 36 consented to cornea donation to save the eyesight of someone waiting for a transplant, and 18 of those transplants were performed at JPS for Tarrant County patients.

An analysis of 2016 donation data landed JPS Health Network No. 1 in the nation for organ donation among hospitals that don’t perform organ transplants and ninth in the country overall. Nationwide hospital data for 2017 is expected soon.

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