What is a cadaver liver?
A cadaver (or deceased donor) liver is an organ obtained from a brain-dead donor to be used for liver transplantation. In the unfortunate circumstance of a previously healthy person’s death, his or her family may choose to give the “gift of life” and donate the deceased person’s organs. Until 1998 cadavers were the only adult liver
donors in the United States.
More recently, organs have been obtained from healthy living donors—hence the need to distinguish between deceased liver donors and live liver donors.
Cadaver donor liver transplant
Who are considered cadaver donor liver transplant ?
Most organ donors are people who suffer from head injuries that result in brain death. These head injuries may include a stroke, trauma after a car accident or fall, or brain tumor that has not metastasized. Death can be declared in two ways in such cases: when a person’s heart stops beating (cardiac death) or when the person’s brain ceases to function (brain death). Brain death occurs when blood and oxygen cannot flow to the brain,
even though the heart is still beating and providing blood and oxygen to other parts of the body. Patients with brain death usually require a ventilator or breathing machine to bring oxygen into the lungs. In brain death the organs remain functional and can be used for transplantation
after a physician declares the patient to be brain dead. Because of the potential for conflict of interest, this physician may not be part of a transplant team.
Cadaver liver donation - eligibility
Anyone up to 85 years of age may be eligible to donate organs and/or tissue. If it becomes appropriate to evaluate someone for organ and/or tissue donation, a trained coordinator reviews the person’s medical history to determine if he or she can be a donor. People who have died by brain death may be able to donate all of their organs and tissue. It is important to discuss the issue of organ donation with your family members and your next-of-kin. In most states merely identifying yourself as an organ donor on your driver’s license does not automatically result in organ donation; the surviving family must agree to donation as well. Organ donors are treated the same way as nonorgan donors in emergency situations,so you do not have to fear that identification as an organ donor would result in inferior medical care.
liver transplant from cadaver
The donor’s body is not disfigured, so an open-casket funeral can still be an option. There is no charge for being an organ donor.
On rare occasions a friend or family member of a transplant candidate may die during the waiting period. If the deceased becomes brain-dead and his or her family wishes to donate the organs, they may choose directed donation. This means that the donated organs can be directed specifically to the transplant candidate. The MELD score becomes irrelevant in such a case, and the candidate receives the liver as long as there is an acceptable blood type and size match. The other organs may also be directly donated or go into the standard organ transplant matching system
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