During an organ donation, the eerie quietness of the surgery area is a sharp contrast to the hurried activity of phone calls that occurs behind the scenes. This activity is coordinated by Midwest Transplant Network whose staff has only hours to identify and transport organs to suitable recipients throughout the United States.
Surgery Educator Denice Morrison, MSN, RN, knows first-hand how emotional the process can be for everyone. She has been involved with 20 donor patients in her 35-year career.
In most day-to-day surgeries, Denice and her staff find comfort and familiarity with the rhythmic sounds of the anesthesia monitor, the heart and lung machine and the ventilator, which all help keep the patient alive. During an organ procurement procedure, the surgery room is quiet and the patient is deceased. “The quiet can be difficult for the staff, especially our new nurses. I don’t think people realize how difficult. We’re each dealing with our own emotions about someone who has just passed away, which is against what we do every day. We save people.” Denice said. “But, we acknowledge that this person is giving a gift and that someone, or multiple people, will receive that gift. That helps us be ready to start the process.”
Denice appreciates that the Midwest Transplant Network understands how difficult it can be for the staff. MTN now recognizes a moment of silence prior to the procurement surgery to acknowledge the donor and think of the people who will be helped. “Everyone takes a breath, and then we get started,” Denice said.
Give the Gift of Life
Organ donation is a special gift. Take the first step today and register as a donor. Go to YesTheyWantMe.com. You can help save lives through your donation.
Why You Should Be an Organ Donor
- More than 118,000 people in the United States are awaiting organs, including 2,000 in Kansas and Missouri; 1,800 need a kidney.
- Most days, 150 people join the nation’s organ transplant waiting list. That’s one every 10 minutes.
- Sadly, an average of 22 people die each day because organs they needed were unavailable.
Join MTN at the kick off of National Donate Life Month on April 7 for the annual Donate Life Legacy Walk at Berkley Riverfront Park to honor donor heroes and celebrate life. This event is an opportunity for everyone with a connection to donation and transplantation to come together.