April Is ‘Donate Life’ Month; Here’S Why And How You Can Donate

Now, thousands of Kentuckians are waiting for life saving transplants, hoping the right match will come in time. This month, we in April, we are recognizing National donate Life Month, celebrating life and honoring the gift of organ eye and tissue donation. Dylan Adamson is a transplant surgeon with U of L

Health and we thank you for coming on today. Yeah, thanks for having me, Shay. So let’s talk a little bit here about liver donation. That is our specialty and it’s something that becomes necessary after liver disease. So walk us through that.

When do you get to the point that you actually need a transplant? Yeah. So thanks for bringing attention to this. So, Kentucky is one of the hardest hit areas in the country um for for mortality rate from liver disease. So it’s certainly a pervasive problem for the commonwealth.

Um Usually once you reach sort of that end stage of liver damage, um which is what we kind of collectively call cirrhosis is when people really get to be referred for transplant uh to their local transplant center. Uh We have one certainly at Jewish Hospital Ul Health

And that’s when we evaluate them for the, for the potential to be, um, transplanted. Is there anything that people can do before they get to that point to prevent liver disease? So, that’s one of the hard parts of liver disease is, is very silent.

Um, sometimes it only shows up sort of once the damage has been done. Um, certainly regular visits with your primary care doctor. Um, regular laboratory evaluations is essential, avoiding things that can be hard on the liver, like excessive alcohol. Um you know, making sure you’re eating a well balanced diet.

Those are the the best things you can do. But even with the best case scenarios, you know, some people may develop autoimmune diseases or things like that. So, ok, so let’s talk solution here, which is a transplant for many people in this case.

What does that look like? And what does life look like after? All right. So for, for a liver transplant, it’s a big operation. You know, they’re gonna be in the hospital for, for 10 to 14 days, sort of best case scenario. Um It’s usually about a 6 to 8 hour operation. Um

And then, you know, they’re gonna go home and be on medication for life to kind of suppress their immune system. So that’s, you know, that’s the biggest impact to their life. But, but life with a transplant for a lot of people, once they’ve reached that stage is,

Is uh a tremendous improvement from where they are before uh people go back to work, they can live a normal life, they can travel, they can do all the things that for them make life worth living. Um So, transplant is not someone who has to live in a bubble. Um

And so, you know, once they’ve been sick enough and live with liver disease long enough that they’ve kind of reached the point of needing a transplant. Transplant really is life saving and life, you know, life affirming for the person. Well, we’re really lucky to have the team at U of L and Jewish

To be able to do this work right here in our community. We appreciate you guys and thanks for raising awareness today. Thanks for having me on today. Of course.

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Transplant News

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