Lifeline of Ohio Facilitates First Adult DCD Heart Donation in the United States

On Sunday, December 1, two milestones in the field of organ donation were achieved thanks to the decision of a registered donor. Lifeline of Ohio facilitated donations from a 26-year old Ohio man who has become the first adult in the United States to donate his heart after circulatory death and the first to give six organs after circulatory death – kidneys, lungs, liver and heart – saving five lives. All organs were successfully transplanted.

Donation after circulatory death (DCD) can be an option for giving the gift of life when a patient has suffered an irreversible, non-survivable injury and their family has decided to withdraw mechanical ventilator support. DCD occurs after the heart has stopped beating and the person’s death has been declared. It is at this time the donor can give gifts of organs, corneas and tissues. Historically, only kidneys, livers and lungs could be given through DCD.

“This is an enormous step forward for the field of organ donation which will ultimately result in more lives saved. Lifeline of Ohio is humbled and honored to facilitate this landmark donation from a heroic donor,” Kent Holloway, CEO of Lifeline of Ohio.

Lifeline of Ohio recognized the donor’s registration decision to be an organ donor, collaborated with his family, allocated his gifts and facilitated the donation process.

During his lifetime, the donor cared for developmentally disabled individuals. Through his death, and decision to be a registered organ donor, he saved the lives of recipients ranging in age from mid-20s to mid-60s. “This young man was the shining light and beacon of hope for his family and friends,” said the donor’s family. “He supported, loved and lived fiercely. Even though we will miss him, we know a part of him lives on. This truly provides us comfort. He was an extraordinary young man.”

Lifeline of Ohio worked with transplant hospital partners The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center and Duke University Hospital to facilitate this recovery and achieve this landmark donation.

About Lifeline of Ohio

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An independent, non-profit organization, Lifeline of Ohio promotes and coordinates the donation of human organs and tissue for transplantation. Lifeline of Ohio serves 78 hospitals in 37 counties in Ohio and two in West Virginia and is designated as an organ procurement organization through the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

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