New organ donor care centers announced in Twin Cities, Rochester

18 July 2023

At the gardens adjacent to the M Health University of Minnesota Medical Center, people gathered Monday to plant 2,000 pinwheels in the ground to honor the 2,000 registered organ donors in the M Health Fairview system.

LifeSource, Mayo Clinic, and M Health Fairview officials were there to announce the creation of two new donor care units, one in the Twin Cities and the other in Rochester. The hospital units help people before and after donating organs, and to ensure the organs are handled and transported in an efficient, responsible way.

Organ donors will be transferred to donor care units from intensive care units, which will free up space for patients who need critical care.

Donor care units are intended to help avoid the long wait times between a person qualifying for donors status and physicians being able to recover their organs. The waiting time is a common reason families opt out of authorizing their loved one to become a donor.

The first donor care units are expected to be running this summer.

“Establishing a donor care unit is a step toward the ambitious goal of eliminating death on the waiting list for transplant patients and ensures donors’ decisions are honored to the fullest potential,” Dr. Julie Heimbach, Mayo Clinic’s Transplant Center director said in a press release.

Individuals can register to be organ donors on their driver’s license or online. Families can also authorize individuals to become organ donors if they meet the criteria of brain death or non-survivable injury.

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