April is National Donate Life Month, and Claxton-Hepburn Medical Center is joining the many organizations across the country to become advocates for promoting organ donation in conjunction with their communities.
Every year, more than 1,500 people in New York State receive kidneys, livers, and hearts that have been donated for transplantation. However, with more than 10,000 New Yorkers still on waiting lists, the need for organ donation far exceeds the supply.
As a New York resident, you can enroll in the New York State Organ and Tissue and Donor Registry online or you can sign up through the Department of Motor Vehicles when you apply for or renew your license or non-driver identification. If you are enrolled in the registry, New York does not require family consent to carry out your wishes to be an organ, eye, or tissue donor. However, keeping everyone informed will help avoid any confusion or delays.
Claxton-Hepburn works very closely with the team at the Finger Lakes Donor Recovery Network and the Rochester/Finger Lakes Eye and Tissue Bank. Stefany Carville, RN, BSN, serves as the Medical Center’s organ donation liaison. Carville’s 17 years’ nursing experience at Claxton-Hepburn enables her to work with organ donor patients and their families.
In Carville’s role, she educates staff nurses and providers about organ donation, policy and procedures of organ donation, and when to initiate the phone call to the Finger Lakes Donor Recovery Network. Carville tracks the hospital’s reporting compliance and shares these numbers with the Medical Center’s Board of Directors. Carville stated, “My role as a nursing supervisor gives me an opportunity to educate the healthcare team about the donation process and share my experiences that I have had with both organ donors and their families.” She continued, “I also share the success of organ/tissue donations with the healthcare team after the donation. One person can give the gift of life up to 50 people by becoming a tissue/bone donator.”
For more information about organ donation, you can visit the Finger Lakes Donor Recovery Network website at www.donorrecovery.org or the Rochester/Finger Lakes Eye and Tissue Bank at www.retb.org.