This year, IIAM marked a decade of conducting Research Recovery Workshops. Designed to train OPO staff in best surgical practices for organ and tissue recovery, these biannual events have been directly responsible for a dramatic rise in the number and percentage of usable organs and tissue for medical research — especially since 2010.
Of the 1,400 patients currently awaiting lung transplantation in the U.S., nearly 200 patients will not receive a transplant in time. With approximately 400,000 new cases of end-stage lung disease diagnosed annually, the need for expanding the deceased lung donor pool is vital.
The Washington Regional Transplant Community (WRTC) in Washington, DC, has increased the number of organs recovered for medical research from 38 in 2010 to a high of 152 in 2015.
After a transcendent experience participating in the 2016 Rose Parade, IIAM made its second appearance at the 2017 showcase event, along with another neonatal donor family.
Over the past five years, IIAM has had the privilege of helping some very special families turn a tragedy into a life-affirming experience. Today, parents who receive a non-survivable diagnosis for their baby during pregnancy have more opportunities to create a lasting legacy by donating his or her organs and tissue for medical research.
Not long ago, the prospect of creating artificial organs bordered on science fiction. Due to the efforts of bioengineering research companies like Samsara Sciences and Organovo, that fantasy is coming closer to reality.