Ochsner LSU Health Shreveport Honors Organ Donors with a Butterfly Release

Event hosted with LOPA for National Donate Life Month

SHREVEPORT, LAOchsner LSU Health Shreveport hosted a Butterfly Release today in partnership with the Louisiana Organ Procurement Agency (LOPA). Families of organ donors were invited to share the name of their loved one as they received a butterfly, and together they released the butterflies in their honor. Last year, more than 20 organ donors at Ochsner LSU Health Shreveport saved 52 lives. 

LOPA and Donate Life Louisiana are hosting events around the state during April, National Donate Life Month, to raise awareness about the importance of organ, eye and tissue donation and to celebrate those that have saved lives through the gift of donation.  

According to Donate Life America and LOPA, more than 2,100 men, women and children are currently waiting for lifesaving organ transplants in Louisiana. Nationally, more than 114,000 are on the waiting list.  

With over 2,100 Louisianians currently on the organ transplant waiting list, there is an urgent need for people to join the state’s donor registry. “Donate Life Month is an opportunity to remind everyone of their ability to help Make Life Happen. Registering takes less than a minute and gives hope to thousands waiting,” said LOPA CEO Kelly Ranum.  

You can register to be an organ donor today at Ochsner.org/save9.  

Although organ donation is a life-saving gift, it is often misunderstood. Ochsner LSU Health Shreveport breaks down five common myths associated with organ donation:  

Myth: I'm too old to be a donor.

Fact: There's no age limit to organ donation. To date, the oldest donor in the U.S. was age 93. What matters is the health and condition of your organs when you die.  

Myth: I don't think my religion supports donation.

Fact: Most major religions in the United States support organ donation and consider donation as the final act of love and generosity toward others.

Myth: If they see I'm a donor at the hospital, they won't try to save my life.

Fact: When you are sick or injured and admitted to a hospital, the one and only priority is to save your life. Period. Donation doesn’t become a possibility until all lifesaving methods have failed.          

Myth: Rich or famous people on the waiting list get organs faster.

Fact: A national computer system matches donated organs to recipients. The factors used in matching include blood type, time spent waiting, other important medical information, how sick the person is and geographic location. Race, income and celebrity are NEVER considered.  

Myth: Somebody could take my organs and sell them.

Fact: Federal law prohibits buying and selling organs in the U.S. Violators can be punished with prison sentences and fines.   

In addition to deceased organ donor transplants, patients may also receive organs from living donors. Living donation offers an alternative for those waiting for an organ from a deceased donor and increases the organ supply. In Louisiana, a living donor can donate a single kidney and a segment of their liver.    

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On Oct. 1, 2018, Ochsner Health System (Ochsner) and LSU Health Shreveport jointly formed Ochsner LSU Health Shreveport to oversee and coordinate activities between the health sciences center and the healthcare delivery system in Shreveport and Monroe, La.  Ochsner LSU Health Shreveport is a public private partnership with a vision to improve health and well-being of its communities, access to care, quality, and facilities, expand patient-centered technology, grow the medical school, and enhance research in North Louisiana by building on the strengths of Ochsner and LSU Health Shreveport. Under the new structure, Ochsner brings their nationally-recognized expertise to the management of operations for partner hospitals in Shreveport and Monroe, clinics and the clinical activity of the LSUHSC-S Faculty Group Practice. LSU will continue to successfully oversee the LSUHSC-S School of Medicine, School of Allied Health Professions, School of Graduate Studies, Graduate Medical Education, and research initiatives.  

Ochsner LSU Health Shreveport includes North Louisiana’s only Level 1 Trauma Center at its 452-bed hospital in Shreveport, La. The organization also operates a 244-bed hospital in Monroe, La. With more than 3,400 employees and the Ochsner LSU Health Shreveport Physician Group of approximately 500 physicians, Ochsner LSU Health Shreveport serves more than 135,000 patients with more than 600,000 visits annually.  

To find out more about Ochsner LSU Health Shreveport, please visit www.ochsnerlsuhs.org.  

LOPA is Louisiana’s federally designated Organ Procurement Organization, or OPO, and is tasked with recovering donor organs and tissue for transplantation, along with housing and maintaining Louisiana’s Donor Registry. LOPA strenuously works to educate Louisiana’s population about the necessity of registering as an organ, eye, and tissue donor. LOPA’s Core Purpose is Making Life Happen and more information, along with a direct link to register as an organ, eye and tissue donor, can be found at

www.lopa.org.

 

 

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