Organ Transplant

During the transplantation of human organs from one person to another, organs are usually taken from the body of a deceased person and transplanted into a living person requiring urgent treatment for an end state organ failure. In order to transplant an organ, the donor must be pronounced dead and the removal process must follow legal guidelines as binding by both the deceased donor and the medical establishment involved in the procedure. A single person can save up to eight lives with the donation of all their organs at death. Organ transplants come in many forms and types, ranging from kidney, liver, pancreas, lung and heart transplants. The most common form of organ transplantation are kidney transplants. The mode of handling, preserving, and transporting donated organs is very important to ensure that the organ continues to breathe and ultimately remains available for use when they arrive at the end user. Most organs stop breathing after a short period once outside the human body, and doctors typically have only about 5 -10 hours to perform the entire transplantation to ensure that the organs don’t go to waste after removal.

Organ Transplant Symptoms

Many organ transplants result in a number of symptoms as the body attempts to reject the foreign organ. These symptoms can range from acute to chronic depending on body tolerance. Additionally, symptoms will vary depending on the type of organ transplanted and the way the procedure was performed. However, medical science has developed powerful medications that can suppress the immune system following an organ transplant, to make acceptance of the new organ more probable.

  • In the case of a kidney transplant, the recipient’s body will often reject the new organ, because the transplanted kidney is completely foreign.
  • This may result in less urination, swelling and pain in and around the transplanted organ area.
  • After a heart transplant, the recipient may experience frequent heart failure as their body begins to accept and adapt to the new heart.
  • Heart transplants may also result in the person having frequent fever.

Common Symptoms of Organ Transplants

  • Changes in heart rate
  • Weight loss
  • Flu-like symptoms
  • Mood swings
  • Irritability

Organ Transplant Causes

There are many reasons why a person may need an organ transplant.

  • Organ transplants occur when a person has an urgent need for the treatment of an end-stage organ failure.
  • End stage organ failure can occur with any organ, but organ failure typically concerns organs such as the heart, liver, pancreas, lungs, or kidney.

  • Ninety-nine percent of organ transplants occur in patients who are in a life or death situation, and who would die without a new organ.

    Organ Transplant Diagnosis

    Diagnoses of most organ transplants typically follow end-stage organ failures. When a person is diagnosed with end-stage organ failure, they must undergo a waiting period until a donated organ from a deceased person is available to be transplanted.

    Several diseases can lead to end-stage organ failure:

    • Coronary heart disease, a condition that occurs due to the buildup of plaque in arteries leading to the heart
    • Polycystic kidney disease
    • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
    • Short gut syndrome
    • Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis

    Organ Transplant Treatment

    In the past, organ transplants were high-risk procedures and organ rejection was common and difficult to combat. However, with advancements in surgical technology and improved drugs, treatment for organ transplants has been highly developed to prevent infections and organ rejection.

    Typically, treatment to prevent organ rejection relies on a variety of immune-system suppressing medications. Rejection occurs because the recipient’s body recognized the new, transplanted organ as a foreign agent and their immune system attempts to reject it. When the recipient’s immune system is suppressed in certain ways it becomes apter to accept the donated organ.