Opioid overdose 'silver lining': Organ donations up in Philadelphia

Philadelphia's spike in opioid overdoses has contributed to an increase in organ donations, according to CBS Philly.

 Research cited by the local news station shows more organs are being donated from overdose victims. The United Network for Organ Sharing, found donations form overdose victims have nearly doubled from 635 organs in 2014 to more than 1,300 in 2017.

"For the people involved, the organ donation, it can be a little of a silver lining in an awful situation," David Klassen, MD, chief medical officer at Richmond, Va.-based UNOS, told CBS Philly.

 Philadelphia has one of the highest overdose rates in the country, according to Rick Hasz, vice president of clinical services at Philadelphia-based Gift of Life Donor Program.

 "We’ve had a tremendous increase in donations over the last number of years," Mr. Hasz told CBS Philly. "They’re able to donate a lot of different organs because of their age."

 When someone overdoses, their breathing stops and their brain will die, Mr. Hasz said, but in most cases their other organs are left intact.

More aricles on opioids:

Pharmacies fall short on stocking naloxone despite anti-overdose initiatives
Facebook partners with University of Alabama to end online drug sales
Michigan patients only take 27% of prescribed opioids   

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