Pima County receives recognition for increase in tissue donations | Health
The Pima County Medical Examiner’s Office has been named an Outstanding Community Partner by Donor Network of Arizona (DNA), for its efforts to expand tissue donations.
PC Medical Examiner’s Office has been reporting 100 percent of non-hospital deaths to Donor Network of Arizona, thus allowing DNA to contact the family earlier in the process to ask about possible tissue donations like bones, tendons, veins, corneas to provide sight, as well as skin for burn victims and mastectomy patients.
DNA already receives notification from local hospitals when deaths occur, since organ donation can only happen in cases of brain or cardiac deaths; while tissue donations can come from those who have already died. However, tissue donations must occur within 24 hours of the patient’s death.
Until the PC Medical Examiner started reporting to DNA this year, there was no notification of deaths that occurred outside of the hospital setting; due to the Medical Examiner’s office efforts tissue donation is up 20 percent for 2012.
Dr. Gregory Hess, the chief medical examiner, said in a recent news release he supports the goal of increasing donations. “The more organ and tissue donors we have, the more people we can help. It’s really a win-win for the community.”
Ryan Nelson, a tissue recovery supervisor, said also in a news release, when he asked his staff about nominations for Outstanding Community Partners who go above and beyond, “this year, hands down, many of our staff nominated the Pima County Medical Examiner’s Office.”
“With earlier notification,” Nelson said, “More individuals have been given the opportunity to donate life-enhancing tissue.”
One tissue donor can help as many as 50 people.
For more information about organ and tissue donation, please visit http://www.dnaz.org