Doctors Discuss National Donor Day

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MAHONING TOWNSHIP -- There are many different kinds of gifts you can give on Valentine's Day, but perhaps the most important one is not found inside a store.

It's the gift of life and in addition to February 14 being Valentine's Day, it's also "National Donor Day."  This special day recognizes organ donors and there are many events to mark the day.

While there were not any organ donation events held in Montour County, Newswatch 16 stopped by Geisinger Medical Center and talked with the transplant team. At Geisinger, they do kidney and liver transplants.

"Around 40 to 50 kidney transplants a year and we've done maybe 12 to 15 liver transplants a year," said Dr. Anil Kotru.

"We also do advanced liver surgery as well and advanced kidney dialysis procedures," said Dr. Michael Marvin

Dr. Marvin is the program director for the transplant team at Geisinger Medical Center. He stressed the importance of signing up to be an organ donor.

"We can't do transplants if we don't have organs that are donated. We need to have access to those life-saving organs in order to do what we do," added Dr. Marvin.

The doctors say one organ donor can save up to eight lives.

"Heart, two lungs, liver, two kidneys, pancreas and potentially even a small bowel," said Dr. Christine Du.

The doctors tell Newswatch 16 there was a recent increase in donors because of the heroin epidemic.

"Those patients often become donors, which takes something horrible and makes something good out of it. But it has been an increase we've noticed all around the country," said Dr. Marvin.

Click here for more information on how to become an organ donor.


  • Be Kind To Your Kidneys!!

    My Family is waiting for a set of Kidneys..The hard part to grasp is that even after getting a phone call (backup reciptient at this point) saying there’s a match, at this point there is one more test the doctors need to do in order for it to be a go or not. The organs are harvested..but 6 out 10 Kidneys that have been a match are NOT TRANSPLANTABLE!! So that makes you think. You cant go through life eating junk, not exercising and think that just because you check that Organ Donor box that your Organs will actually be Harvested and Transplanted into someone needing them.
    6 OUT OF 10 Kidneys are BAD!! (at least with our phone calls) This is why people are waiting so long, there are many organs harvested, but only a few actually make it into someone else.

  • Allen

    The saddest most frustrating thing about organ donation is that so many still will not register to be an organ donor due to the false belief that if you were ever involved in an accident that the staff won’t work as hard to save your life because they want your organs. This is simply NOT true! Emergency personnel have absolutely no clue whether you’re an organ donor or not when you’re brought in. It is only well after someone is declared dead that the prospect of organ donation is even raised. Living people so desperately need them. Please don’t take them with you if you’re dead.

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