organ donor

The need for living kidney donors is growing, partly because people are living longer on dialysis, explains Dr. Vaughn Whittaker, a transplant surgeon at Upstate University Hospital.

People are usually born with two kidneys and can live with just one, and a kidney from a live donor tends to be of higher quality, he says. Whittaker explains the safety factors and support system that let almost any healthy adult make a living kidney donation, as well as  breakthroughs like the ability to donate to someone with an incompatible blood type.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News

New York state continues to have one of the lowest percentages of its residents signed up to be organ donors. Now organ donation advocates are hoping some new state legislation will change that.

Every April, the organ donation program at Upstate University Hospital showcases patients who have been saved by organ donations, or families who have made the decision to donate organs from a deceased loved one. This year, Tina Serio told the story of how her family dealt with the sudden death of her sister, who had not made her wishes known before she died.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News

There continues to be a shortage of organ donors in New York State and central New York. The donor council at Upstate University Hospital is urging the community to learn about the issue, and join the organ donation registry.

A new report recommends that New York simplify its organ donation process, because 18 people die per day in the state awaiting a transplant. Excellus BlueCross BlueShield conducted the study. The company's medical director, Dr. Martin Lustick, says they found that just 22 percent of New Yorkers are registered donors, compared to 48 percent nationally.

"Unlike states that have a high rate of registration, our process for registering is somewhat more cumbersome than the average across the country," Lustick said.

Strokes that occur in women create symptoms that are different than those in men. Women may experience the classic sudden numbness or severe headache, but they may also develop arm pain, general weakness or hiccups.

Rochele Clark, Upstate Medical University's stroke program coordinator, explains the importance of calling 911 immediately. Quick action is essential to help lessen the damage from a stroke.

MGShelton via Flickr

New York state is hoping that a new way to join the state's organ donor registry online will mean a longer list of potential donors. Central New Yorkers, who have had to make decisions about organ donations, are encouraging New Yorkers to log on.