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posted by martyb on Tuesday February 21 2017, @08:13AM   Printer-friendly
from the higher-availability dept.

More organs have become available for transplant in British Columbia, Canada, due to a rise in drug overdoses:

After a brutal year where more than 900 people died of drug overdoses in British Columbia, doctors are pointing to one morbid upside. It might sound like something out of a dystopian horror comic, where drug users are wiped out and harvested for organs. New stats released by the health agency responsible for organ transplants show that's not exactly a far-off nightmare anymore. Health officials have noticed a significant uptick in organ donor deaths, and say that fentanyl is likely playing a role. According to BC Transplant, the number of organ donors in the first weeks of 2017 has doubled over this time last year, from 10 to 20. That's resulted in 59 transplants, up from 37 organs over the same period in 2016.

[...] "We started tracking the connection between fentanyl and organ donation more closely at the start of 2017, and fentanyl has been a contributing factor in about a quarter of our donors so far this year." BC Transplant's statement cautions against drawing conclusions based on a small amount of recent data. But long term trends show the proportion of organ donors dying from overdose has gone up steadily over many years. Back in 2013, 7.5 percent of organ donors tested positive for drugs. In 2016, that number rose to 22.7 percent.

Previously: Opioid Addiction is Big Business
Obama Administration Expands Access to Suboxone Treatment
DEA Welcomes Kratom to the Schedule I List Beginning September 30
Heroin, Fentanyl? Meh: Carfentanil is the Latest Killer Opioid
The Calm Before the Kratom Ban

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  • (Score: 2, Informative) by anubi on Tuesday February 21 2017, @10:41AM

    by anubi (2828) on Tuesday February 21 2017, @10:41AM (#469648) Journal

    Treatment of the viral infection may be less problematic than complete loss of organ function.

    If one has no car at all, the gift of one with an engine malfunction is better than no car at all. Especially in a situation where no cars are available. Get the one you can get and fix it.

    My guess is the drug users generally tend to be younger, stronger, still having the resilience of youth, where organs as old as mine ( >65 yr old ) are near the end of life ( telomerically speaking ), and may not be as much use, even though they are drug-free and mostly still work.

    "Prove all things; hold fast that which is good." [KJV: I Thessalonians 5:21]
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  • (Score: 2) by SanityCheck on Tuesday February 21 2017, @04:14PM

    by SanityCheck (5190) on Tuesday February 21 2017, @04:14PM (#469742)

    Oh thank god I got that new liver, and only with herpes, not even AIDS.

    • (Score: 2) by bob_super on Tuesday February 21 2017, @08:09PM

      by bob_super (1357) on Tuesday February 21 2017, @08:09PM (#469861)

      Bad example: Most people have Herpes.

  • (Score: 1) by Frost on Thursday February 23 2017, @10:00PM

    by Frost (3313) on Thursday February 23 2017, @10:00PM (#470919)

    It may even be possible to apply extremely aggressive (lethal) antiviral treatments to organ donors on life support, sacrificing everything except the organ(s) to be harvested for transplant.