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   Organ, tissue donations on the rise after initial COVID-19 decrease
Gift of Life Michigan saw a significant decrease in organ and tissue donations in late March, April and May of this year. In addition to not recovering organs or
tissues from potential donors who tested positive for COVID-19, Gift of Life staff were unable to be person- ally present in the hospital to meet with patient care staff and donor families to discuss donation opportunities.
However, Gift of Life continued to work with its organ transplant center and tissue processing part- ners to get as many life-saving gifts to the people who need them as possible, while maintaining the safety of recipients, donor families, our staff, healthcare workers and the public.
As with any transplant, transplant centers and surgeons worked with their patients to weigh the risk of the transplant procedure against the benefit to the patient. Organ transplants never fully stopped during the COVID-19 pandemic, but for a time most local procedures were performed on patients who were very sick and had no other option but to receive that organ. Gift of Life also worked to recover organs and tissue to send to areas of the country that were not as severely afflicted as ours was at that time.
Transplant centers in Michigan have since resumed their pre-COVID-19 transplant schedules, now that the initial coronavirus surge has peaked in our state. Organ and tissue donations have returned to – and in some cases exceeded – pre-pandemic levels in our state.
As of July 31, 2020, Gift of Life Michigan had recov- ered 640 organs from 215 organ donors, and tissue from 881 donors. Of those, 25 organ donors and 84 tissue donors were from Oakland County.
It is in difficult times that strong partnerships are most important. During the height of the pandemic when PPE supplies were short, Gift of Life Michigan gladly donated surplus surgical gowns and gloves to local hospitals and funeral homes, to help keep our partners safe.
We appreciate the continued support we receive from the Oakland County Medical Society and its members. Together, we honor life through donation.

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