time is of the essence when the time comes organ transplant facility, Unpredictable ambulance route changes, flight cancellations and severe weather can hinder efforts to bring life-saving organs to patients in need. Kidneys can survive outside the body for 24 to 36 hours when properly packaged, but the heart and lungs are only viable for four to six hours.
Tennessee Donor Services, a Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services-designated donor program, must sometimes Find creative ways to overcome obstaclesWhether that be by shipping organs on alternate commercial flights, chartering private jets or driving staff members across the country.
“We run many different [challenges]But what we’re fighting … is time,” said Cody Tisdale, a Tennessee Donor Services first responder who moved into the organ recovery industry after working as a surgical technologist.
More than 42,800 organ transplants took place in the United States last year, according to data from the United Network for Organ Sharing, the nonprofit that manages the country’s organ transplant system. Several dozen people—including patients, families, physicians, recovery teams, and couriers—are involved in an organ exchange from start to finish.
“Coordination really is an art,” said Jill Grandus, executive director of Tennessee Donor Services and a registered nurse.