Transplant Program Improvement Initiatives
You can write
your representitives in Congress
and request improvements in the National Transplant Program
What to do:
the letter below, 2) Type
your zip code into the box below and click the "go"
button. 3) When
you get to the Congress.org site, Paste the contents
of the letter into your representative(s) blank e-mail
page. You may ersonalize it if you want. 4) Sign
it and send. That's all there is to it.
As my representative, you ought to know
that when people think of organ donor programs they often
think first of kidneys. But other organs are also greatly
needed for transplantation.
For example, liver disease is one of the
major killers in America today.
In fact, hepatitis C alone has been called
a "silent epidemic" by former surgeon general
Everett Koop, MD and it is estimated that as many as 4
million Americans are infected.
The death rate due to complications from
this disease is expected to quadruple in the next 10 years.
It is the number-one cause for liver transplants, and
those numbers are rising exponentially.
There is no approved cure and current treatment
has an inadequate success rate (while often causing debilitating
A study presented at the American Association
for the Study of Liver Diseases meeting on Tuesday November
9, 1999 concluded that long-term damage from hepatitis
C infections may cost the U.S. economy more than $81 billion
The study, by researchers from the New England
Medical Center and Tufts University School of Medicine,
looked at what costs can be expected in the ten years
from 2010 to 2019 as a result of the long-term effects
of hepatitis C infections.
Most people infected by the virus do not
notice any symptoms until serious liver damage starts
20 years or so later, although testing can detect the
infection and lead to early treatment.
The study used a computer model to estimate
the level of disease and death expected in the period
2010-2019 from existing and future infections. It found
that the medical costs of treating such liver damage as
cirrhosis and cancer would total at least $10.3 billion
in those ten years.
Productivity lost to the work force from
hepatitis C complications and death would equal another
$71.5 billion, the researchers, led by Dr John Wong, said.
"Our results suggest that hepatitis C will be an
awakening health issue that should be addressed now,"
Wong said in his paper.
While some progress has been made of late
in allocating donor organs there is still much to be done
to increase the pool of donor organs available.
Much of this has to do with public education
and active transplant initiatives.
I am requesting that you investigate this
important area of public health and sponsor or co-sponsor
legislation to allocate more funds for organ donor programs
and education about organ donor needs.
Thank you for your attention and consideration
in regard to this serious matter.