Nursing teams promote organ donor campaign

PARKERSBURG – In an effort to raise awareness about organ donation and compel more people to be organ donors, Camden Clark Medical Center held Blue and Green Day Friday.

Nurses participated in the national Donate Life America campaign by wearing blue and green scrubs as a showing of support and offer of hope to those waiting for a transplant. They manned informational booths in the south tower of the Memorial Campus and at St. Joseph’s Campus.

Registered nurses Amanda Duffield and Teresa Adams spoke to hospital staff, patients and visitors about the benefits of being an organ donor, in the south tower next to the cafeteria.

“We are thanking everybody who is an organ donor and bringing awareness to the benefits of organ donation to those who are not,” said Duffield. “Being in the health care field, we get to see the positives organ donation can bring to individuals and families on a daily basis.”

CCMC has participated in the national campaign for several years by working with Lifeline of Ohio Organ Procurement as a way to help spread the word of the need for organ donors, said Kathy Warhola with Lifeline of Ohio.

More than 117,000 Americans are waiting for organ and/or tissue transplants, including hundreds of West Virginians. More than 18 people die every day waiting for a healthy organ.

“West Virginia hospitals have been challenged to promote organ donation and they have stepped up and accepted that challenge with gusto,” Warhola said. “Camden Clark has always done great things with us and if just one person decides to be an organ donor after this campaign, it was all worth it.”

The Blue and Green Day campaign has been around for more than 30 years and is done in conjunction with April being National Donate Life Month, Warhola said.

“The goal of this event and National Donate Life Month is to bring the drastic need for registered organ, eye and tissue donors to the forefront of the country’s awareness,” she said.

Duffield said not only was the Blue and Green Day event meant to spread awareness but to also dispel myths and misconceptions about being an organ donor.

“There are a lot of misconceptions out there and we want to educate people about what being an organ donor really means,” she said.

One of those myths is that if you are an organ donor and in an accident, emergency medical technicians and doctors at the treating hospital will not give the same standard of care because they would rather organs and tissues be donated as soon as possible.

“That just is not true,” Duffield said. “We are here to help everyone and we treat everyone the same; if you’re an organ donor and in an accident, we do everything possible to save your life, but if we can’t we want you to be able to help others.”

One organ and tissue donor has the ability to save and enhance the lives of more than 50 people after death, with the donation of organs, including heart, intestines, kidneys, liver, lungs and pancreas as well as tissues that include bones, corneas, heart valves, skin, tendons and veins.

“It is really amazing what one person can do for so many others by just being an organ donor,” Duffield said.