Donate Life (part 1): The Recipient | Episode 055

Episode summary introduction:

As nurses, we see patients all the time that are in chronic kidney failure or have liver disease, amongst patients needing lung or heart transplant. With April being Donate Life month. Ashley and I decided to do a 2 part episode of organ/life donation. We’re going to break down what a recipient may experience in part 1 and what the donor may experience in part 2.

Topic 1:

Recipient Statistics: According to

Topic 2:

The process for organ transplantation is slightly different for each organ. There is no way that we can cover every little idiosyncrasy, but I wanted to give you an overview of what to expect.

Topic 3:

Post Op/Recovery; Pain control, Wound care and Recovery from surgery is about celebrating the milestones, no matter how small you may think they are. These milestones are expected within 3-6 months.

Topic 4:

(Life long) treatment, from UNOS. Organ rejection - Rejection is when the organ recipient’s immune system recognizes the donor organ as foreign, attempting to eliminate it.


Nursing Considerations

Connect patient’s with personnel to help with medication management, affordability.

Explain lifestyle changes that will be needed and find out where patients need support

Assist the patient with coordinating appointments and managing comorbidities

The patient and the transplant team typically become very close during this process as open communication is key to a successful transplant

Encourage organ donation @

Free downloads- drawback to website

This free brochure, "What Every Patient Needs to Know," from UNOS provides an overview of the process. References:

Stats and facts:

How it works:

The process:

After the transplant:

Call to action:

Local Resources:

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