One organ, eye, and tissue donor can save and heal more than 75 lives. Yet 22 people die every day waiting for an organ with a new patient added to the donation waiting list every 10 minutes. As part of National Donate Life Month, Bayhealth and other local healthcare organizations were recently honored by the Gift of Life Donor Program during the third annual Donate Life flag raising ceremony at Bayhealth Hospital, Kent Campus.
In total, there are currently 118,000 women, men and children waiting for an organ donation. According to Donate Life America, roughly 95 percent of Americans are in favor of organ donation, but only 54 percent are registered. Through Donate Life Month, Bayhealth and the Gift of Life Donor Program are encouraging people to register as organ, eye, and tissue donors. They’re also celebrating those who have saved lives through organ donations. Officials from Nanticoke and Christiana Care were on hand for the event to be honored along with Bayhealth for the strides made to improve organ donation processes.
To help facilitate lifesaving organs and tissues, Bayhealth partners with Gift of Life Donor Program. They also work with the Delaware Donation Performance Improvement Initiative to improve transplant processes and increase the number of people receiving transplants.
Bayhealth Clinical Nurse Specialist Angeline Dewey, MSN, RN, APRN, ANCS-BC, CCRN, CNRN, said in 2016 the organization supported seven organ donors, who saved the lives of 10 recipients, and 35 tissue donors, whose gifts saved or enhanced the lives of countless more members of the community. “The families who decide to donate in our hospitals, and the patients who come to us for treatment as they await life-saving transplants all know they can count on the Delaware healthcare community for care, for hope and for advocacy,” Dewey said. “At Bayhealth, we are honored to have the opportunity to help them rewrite stories of life.”
Thanks to the work and improvements made through the Delaware Performance Improvement Initiative, Gift of Life Donor Program President and CEO Howard Nathan says Delaware has the highest donor rate per capital in the United States with 66 donors per one million residents. “I’m proud of the work of our Delaware hospitals and the collaborative effort you’ve taken,” Nathan said. “Fifty-four generous organ donations have helped 140 people while 129 tissue donations went to 7,500 people. Most importantly, your work has helped families find a way to deal with an unexpected loss of a loved one.”
Bayhealth Nurse Manager Susan Litchford, BSN, RN, CNML, credits the work of the nurses in the intensive care units for the work they do in this initiative. “Without the work our bedside staff, we wouldn’t be able to do this. They’re put into these difficult situations and yet the compassion they have for the families and the care they provide the patients, make these organ donations possible,” Litchford said.
Bayhealth and the Gift of Life Donor Program are encouraging community members to register as a donor. Visit donors1.org to register as an organ donor.
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