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COLORADO SPRINGS – Today is April 30th, the last day of Donate Life Month, which is aimed at raising awareness about organ donation. It’s an effort UCHealth Memorial Hospital Central and other hospitals have embraced on many fronts and working to constantly improve.
Rochelle Flayter, the Director of Trauma Services at Memorial Hospital, has been one of the team members directing the effort there.
Rochelle says, “We have increased our total donors by 200% from 2016. Our cardiac donors after death have increased by 300% and so far in 2018, we have had 48 organs transplanted, that’s a 400% increase. We have been very fortunate in our efforts because in 2018, we had fewer patients to refer.”
The increased number has been a result of removing barriers in the system and making sure difficult conversations are being had at appropriate times with families and loved ones when clinical standards are met.
Rochelle says, “What we have done at the hospital is more at the time of death around opportunities to make sure the conversation can be had, and accurate information can be provided to people.”
Rochelle says she also had a personal health scare last year, and that reinforced the passion she has had for organ donation awareness. “I had pulmonary hypertension from blood clots, and one of the options my doctors discussed with me was that if I was not going to be a surgical candidate, down the road potentially we would be considering a lung transplant. When you go through a health situation on the other side, you realize that when your health dictates a needed transplant, you really want that to be an option.”
Rochelle also says even if you have indicated on your driver’s license that you’re an organ donor, make sure you let your loved ones and friends know of your desire to give the gift of life to others before a tragic situation arises.
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