(RxWiki News) New York City is expanding its pool of kidney donors, allowing the organs of those who died of cardiac arrest outside of a hospital to be recovered.
Launched last week, the pilot program funded by a $1.5 million grant from the Department of Health Resources and Services Administration overrides restrictions limiting kidney donation to cardiac arrest victims who died inside hospitals. NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg said the program will help test a process that "could transform the way we donate organs and help save many lives."
An Organ Preservation Team in Manhattan will respond to cases of cardiac arrest if the deceased is an organ donor. An ambulance will then transport the body to Bellevue hospital for next-of-kin consent and the transplant operation. The programs stands to benefit those receiving new organs as well as those who wished to donate.
Nearly 8,000 New Yorkers are awaiting organ transplants. Nationally that number rises to 109,000, a list to which a new name is added every 13 minutes. About 6,500 people die every year from organ-transplant need. About 24,000 organ transplants are performed annually in the U.S.