Live Donor Care and Support, Expanded by the VA | Law Firm Newswire

Live Donor Care and Support, Expanded by the VA

Northville, MI (Law Firm Newswire) September 23, 2022 - As of July 1, 2022, the Department of Veterans Affairs implemented a rule to support donation procedures and related care for those donating bone marrow or an organ to veterans for transplantation. Since 1982, the VA has provided bone marrow services and solid organ transplantation since 1962. The liver, pancreas, spleen, and adrenal glands are not hollow and are considered solid organs.

Solid organ transplantation has evolved into a lifesaving procedure. The field has multiplied since the first successful kidney transplantation between living identical twins by Joseph Murray, MD, and John Merrill, MD, in 1954. In addition, survival rates have improved rapidly.

There is no cost for the live donor, and the support includes:

  • Travel;
  • Temporary lodging expenses;
  • Expenses for the live donors' support person, according to stated rates;
  • Preliminary screening, studies, and tests to qualify a donor;
  • Medical care for the procedure – organ or bone marrow; and
  • A medical follow-up appointment.

All donors have informed consent rights, which include, among other issues, the right to revoke consent at any time, for any reason. The demand for live organs and bone marrow transplants is very high nationwide, and being on a waiting list may mean a very long wait before a deceased donor's kidney(s) is/are available. A kidney transplant is the most cost-effective surgical intervention and the most common transplant procedure performed.

Deceased organ donors are not plentiful, resulting in increased waiting times for recipients. Thus, living donor transplants are more common in kidney transplantations. Other solid organs being considered for use in transplantation surgeries are the liver and lungs. 

The VA receives an average of three thousand five hundred transplant service referrals annually. They can perform close to 500 solid organ and bone marrow procedures, including live donor transplantation. 

For further information on the transplant program, go HERE to VA National Transplant Program. For those wishing to read the final rule, which contains other relevant information, it is available HERE: Federal Register.

Legal Help for Veterans, PLLC
41700 West Six Mile Road, Suite 101
Northville, MI 48168
Toll Free Phone: 800.693.4800

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