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Old 01-20-2020, 07:01 AM
Nymuso Nymuso is offline
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Join Date: Nov 2017
Posts: 1,075
Default An Organ Donation Story

I don't post much anymore for various reasons, but wanted to share this.

I'm a retired CRNA, an anesthetist. At our hospital one of the things we did was organ harvestings, usually after hours. The harvest team would fly in from where ever but we sometimes provided the anesthesia support, which basically consisted of keeping the organs perfused and oxygenated until they were removed, the patient having previously been declared brain dead. We didn't do many of these and I only had to do one

They were there for the kidneys. Once they were removed some members of the team packed them into a cooler and hurried off for a waiting flight. The surgeon then poured a bucket of ice into the open cavity and told me to turn off the O2 and stop ventilations.

This was the hardest thing I ever had to do I hadn't been trained for this or even oriented to it. I knew it was legal, moral and inevitable, but it just felt, well, wrong for lack of a better word. I don't know what executioners feel but I was pretty sure I was feeling something close to it. We watched the cardiac monitor until activity ceased. He then thanked me, told me to turn everything off and asked me to leave. And that was that. Except for the feeling.

I recently learned that a guy I know, a bass player from another band needed a liver transplant. One of the members of that band stopped in at our gig the other night and told us that after several false starts, our friend had gotten his transplant and was doing well. Great news! My mind immediately flashed back all those years to having to turn off the O2 at 3 AM and watch the monitor fade. And I felt better about things. Yes, sorry for the person who no longer needed the liver, for his or her family and for the person who had to turn off the O2, but good that my friend would have a chance at more life. I got to see the outcome of the story.

I ask everyone who reads this to sign their donor cards.
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