chapter  Chapter 18
37 Pages

Life Care Planning for Organ Transplantation

ByDan M. Bagwell, Lisa Norris

Until 1984, the allocation of organs for transplantation in the United States was largely unregulated and primarily coordinated by local organ banks scattered throughout the country. The Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network (OPTN) is comprised of a partnership between public and private sectors that serves as a system-wide link for all professionals involved in the system of donation and organ transplantation nationwide. Developing life care plans for individuals with end-stage organ disease requires a thorough understanding of organ specific disease processes. The client/patient's candidacy for organ transplantation must be determined, or at least projected within a reasonable degree of medical certainty, such that a logical projection can be made that transplantation will occur within the average waiting time for a suitable organ. Infection is a major cause of morbidity and mortality for transplanted patients. It has been estimated that more than sixty percent of transplanted patients encounter some type of infection within the first post-transplant year.