Organs from drug overdoses could help transplant shortage
Monday, 16 April 2018 WASHINGTON (AP) — Fatal drug overdoses are increasing organ donations, and researchers reported Monday that people who receive those transplants generally fare as well as patients given organs from more traditional donors. The findings could encourage more use of organs from overdose victims. Researchers from Johns Hopkins University found those transplants have jumped nearly 24-fold since 2000. That was before overdoses were making headlines or most transplant centers considered accepting such organs. In 2016, there were 3,533 transplants using overdose-related donated organs, up from just 149 such transplants in 2000, the study found. Deaths from overdoses are on the rise yet most occur outside hospitals, blocking organ donation.
As the opioid epidemic has skyrocketed in the United States, a rise in the number of drug overdose deaths has contributed to a rise in organ transplants, made possible by overdose-death donors, across the country. Matt Yurus reports.