Jan 28, 2021
If you’ve watched an episode of Grey’s Anatomy, you know organ transplant is a TV writer’s dream for high drama. In real life, roughly 20 people on transplant lists die everyday while donors remain elusive. This gap is particularly significant in New York, which is home to approximately 10 percent of those waiting in the US for organs but has a lower donor registration rate than the national average. A single donor can save up to eight lives and aid up to 50 more through tissues like blood cells, bone, and corneas.
Dr. Amy L. Friedman is a transplant surgeon and the Chief Medical Officer/Executive Vice President of LiveOnNY, the non-profit that oversees transplant donations in the greater NYC area. She received her undergraduate degree in biology from Princeton University, her MD from Downstate Medical Center/SUNY in Brooklyn, her training in general surgery also at Downstate, and her training in transplant surgery at the University of Pennsylvania. She has been on the faculties of the University of Pennsylvania, the Yale University School of Medicine, and SUNY Upstate Medical University.
She talks about the importance of blood and organ donations. She goes through the life of a donated organ, which can include anything from a liver to a face. She also tells us about the effects of COVID on organ donations and transplants. You can be an organ donor living or dead, and it is absolutely essential to helping other people get the organs they need to survive.