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Organ Donation Program Earns National Recognition

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Antelope Valley Hospital (AVH) is among a select group of hospitals nationwide that has been recognized by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services for its work in promoting enrollment in California’s organ donor registry. The accolade is part of the national Workplace Partnership for Life Hospital Campaign, sponsored by the Health Resources and Services Administration, to mobilize the nation’s hospitals to increase the number of registered potential organ, eye and tissue donors.

This latest recognition to AVH follows the hospital being named 2015’s top-performing hospital for organ donation by OneLegacy, the organ and tissue recovery organization serving 240 hospitals in the seven-county greater Los Angeles area. Along with this recognition, AVH received a $10,000 grant from OneLegacy to build a donor memorial.

Nearly 22,000 California residents are waiting to receive lifesaving hearts, livers, lungs, kidneys and other organs. However, there are not enough donors to meet the growing need in the state, let alone the country. In fact, 18 people die every day in the U.S. waiting for an organ transplant, and the national waiting list currently holds more than 123,000 people.

"Organ and tissue donation is an incredible gift," said Denise Scott, education specialist, critical care services at AVH. "Joining the donor registry gives hope to those in need of organ and tissue transplants, while leaving a legacy of generosity for the donor and his or her family."

"Medical professionals do everything they can to save lives and the doctors who work to save your life are not the same doctors involved with organ donation," Scott continues. "It is only after every attempt has been made to save your life that the appropriate medical professionals will review your medical and social history to determine if you are a candidate for donation."

If the patient is a registered donor, the family is notified that the organ and, if applicable, tissue recovery is proceeding per the patient’s wishes. If the individual is not registered, the family is asked to give their consent for organ and/or tissue recovery. Throughout the organ donation process at AVH, the donor’s body is treated with respect and dignity while the recovery of organs is conducted in an operating room by qualified surgeons or qualified recovery personnel.

"One donor can save up to eight lives through organ donation and heal up to 50 through tissue donation," says Scott. "Anyone, regardless of age, can be considered for organ donation and with recent advances in transplant, more people than ever before can donate."

To learn more about organ donation, or to register to become a donor, go to www.donateLIFEcalifornia.org or its Spanish-language counterpart, www.doneVIDAcalifornia.org.