4 types of organ donation and their cost
Organ donation is the process by which a person can donate a healthy organ to replace the unhealthy organ of another person. Some organs are donated after the donor has died. Other organ donations are made by healthy friends or relatives who decide to help a loved one who is experiencing organ failure.
4 types of organ donation
1. Donation after cardiac death (DCD)
This is also known as donation after circulatory death. It is the type of donation used in the early years of organ donation.
This type of donation transpires when a patient has an illness from which they cannot recover, and is being kept alive by artificial means, including ventilators and supportive drugs. The patient is not brain dead but has no hope of recovery.
For a DCD donation, the legal next of kin must consent to the process. Consent to donate at a donor registry does not count for this type.
While donation after cardiac death increases the number of organs available for transplant, this type of donation does not allow for organs other than the liver and kidneys to be procured in most cases. This is because the heart, lungs, pancreas, and intestine cannot tolerate being without blood flow, even during the short time between cardiac arrest and the surgical procedure to remove organs. Exceptions may exist in this situation.
2. Organ donation after brain death
This is the most common type of donation. Donation after brain death is the type of donation that is covered when you say yes to organ donation for a donor registry or at the bureau of motor vehicles.
A patient becomes eligible for this type of donation when they are declared brain dead. Being brain dead is a medical condition that means that the brain is no longer receiving blood flow and has been irreversibly damaged. At the time the doctor determines that brain death has occurred, the patient becomes legally dead.
Donation after brain death allows for many different organs to be transplanted, including the heart, lungs, kidneys, pancreas, liver, and small intestine.
3. Living-related donation
This type of organ donation allows a family member or friend to donate an organ to a loved one. It is becoming increasingly popular. The vast majority of these organ donations involve kidney transplants, as the human body can function normally with one healthy kidney.
Recipients of living donor organs typically have excellent outcomes, not just because of the genetic match, but because they do not wait for years for an organ, during which recipients often experience a decline in their health.
4. Altruistic living donation
Altruistic donation is the same as living-related organ donation in most ways. But the donor and the recipient are not related, nor are they friends. An altruistic donor is a person who decides to donate an organ, typically a kidney, to a stranger with no expectation of compensation or reward.
While an altruistic donor may at some point meet the recipient of his or her organ, both parties must agree to the meeting, otherwise, the parties remain anonymous.
The cost of organ donation
There are no medical expenses associated with being an organ donor of any type. Typically, insurance or the agency responsible for recovering the organs will pay for the costs of organ recovery.
Living organ donors may have financial repercussions outside of medical expenses if they do not have paid sick leave during their recovery, but they are not charged to be a donor. In short, there are no costs to being an organ donor of any kind. All expenses are paid by the insurance company of the person you are donating to if you are a living donor, or by the organ procurement organization that recovers organs from a deceased donor.