Bad News For Those Waiting On Organ Transplants During Pandemic

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There have been some positive side effects of the coronavirus restrictions such as lower CO2 emissions and fewer car crashes. However, there are still some negative side effects that it’s created like much longer waits for organ donations.According to the United Network For Organ Sharing, which runs the country’s organ transplant system numbers don’t lie, deaths from car accidents account for 33% of the source of organs for transplant.

But because of the strict shelter-in-place orders that have been put in place all across the country due to the coronavirus car crashes and deaths caused by them are in a very steep decline. For example, in California, car fatalities were down 50% during just the first three weeks of safer-at-home orders.

Drowning deaths are also down a massive 80%.

Just those numbers by themselves are good news but for people waiting desperately for a new organ, it’s pretty bad. This is also happening at a time of year when normally these kinds of deaths are on the rise because of more people traveling leading to more accidents on the road and during vacations.

Organ donors from traffic-related accidents plummeted 23% nationwide from March 8th to April 11th. Compare that to last year with organ donors dying in all other accidents were down 21%.
Another reason for the drop in organ donations is that emergency room visits are down too. Many people are avoiding going because of the high risk of contracting COVID-19. If someone were to die from a stroke or heart attack at home, which are the 2nd and 3rd most common sources for organ donations, those organs would be useless for donation.
Its a difficult and unusual situation. It’s hard to know how to feel when on one hand, fewer people are dying from tragic accidents, and on the other hand, people are dying from organ failure just waiting on someone else to die.

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