St. Barnabas doctor encourages organ donation
During this year's Organ Donation Month, experts and medical professionals at St. Barnabas Hospital are encouraging New Yorkers to sign up to be organ donors.
"If you look at the statistics at least in the New York area, even though many people believe in the concept of organ donation, just about 30 percent actually registered themselves," said Dr. Raghu Loganathan, the director of the intensive care unit at St. Barnabas Hospital.
Experts have told News 12 that about 10,000 New Yorkers are presently waiting for a life-saving transplant.
According to LiveOnNY, about 18 people waiting for an organ die every day.
Dr. Loganathan also said St. Barnabas is working to educate staff on the proper way to handle donor procurement. He said one question his trainees often have is with regard to the organs of those who have been declared brain dead.
Dr. Loganathan said that it is important to investigate organs in these scenarios and to preserve organ function so that the likelihood of success is maximized following transplantation.
News 12 also met with Gerrod Marinaccio, who received a liver transplant 10 years ago after his battle with liver disease.
"They made the very noble gesture to donate their child's organs," said Marinaccio as he recalled his transplant experience, expressing gratitude to his donor's family. "I'm very thankful for that."
News 12 has learned that each donation can save up to eight lives.
Individuals interested in becoming organ donors can sign up online or when they renew or apply for a driver's license. There is no age requirement. There is also an option to sign up to be an organ donor when registering to vote.