1 weekend sees 4 organ donors improve lives of 12 people

The transplant surgery team, from left: Mark Laftavi, MD, Tamer Malik, MBBCh, Zeki Acun, MD, Rauf Shahbazov, MD, and physician assistant Sharon Denise. (Photo by Robert Mescavage)

The transplant surgery team, from left: Mark Laftavi, MD, Tamer Malik, MBBCh, Zeki Acun, MD, Rauf Shahbazov, MD, and physician assistant Sharon Denise. (Photo by Robert Mescavage)

BY AMBER SMITH

One busy weekend in April saw the Upstate transplant team caring for four patients who made the decision to donate their organs upon death. In all, 12 people received lifesaving organ transplants thanks to the four donors.

Each of the donors — including two men and two women — were able to donate both their left and right kidneys to eight different people. Two of the kidneys were transplanted at Upstate, where surgeons perform more than 100 kidney transplants per year. Two hearts, two livers and the six other kidneys were transplanted to patients elsewhere in New York state.

“The transplant business is unpredictable,” said Mark Laftavi, MD, professor of surgery and the interim chief of transplant services at Upstate. “Sometimes you have a couple donors in one day, and sometimes you have none. So, we are always prepared.”

More than 7,000 people died waiting for an organ transplant in 2016, according to the United Network for Organ Sharing. Laftavi is proud to help improve lives through transplant.

“There’s nothing more rewarding than saving a mother, a father or a child, who regain their lives,” he said.

Upstate Health magazine summer 2018 issue

Upstate Health magazine summer 2018 issue

HealthLink on Air logoThis article appears in the summer 2018 issue of Upstate Health magazine. Click here for a podcast/radio interview with Mark Laftavi, MD, about transplants, organ donation and the busy weekend for transplants described above.

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