Manhattan, NY – ‘Gift Of Life’ FDNY To Get Ambulance for Organs


    Manhattan, NY – The FDNY is almost ready to roll out a pioneering program to salvage the organs of people who die of cardiac arrest at home, in accidents, or otherwise outside hospitals.

    The department is seeking three emergency medical technicians to staff an ambulance in Manhattan designated as the “Organ Preservation Vehicle.”

    When a patient is declared dead after failed resuscitation attempts, two EMTs, a “family services coordinator” and a doctor will respond to the scene. With the next of kin’s consent, they may keep the “potential organ donor” on a ventilator and take him or her to Bellevue Medical Center.

    “These people may have wanted to be an organ donor, but there is currently no system in place to have this occur,” says the FDNY’s Office of Medical Affairs.

    Officials have agreed on a protocol that would ensure the program would not hamper NYPD investigations of homicides or other unusual deaths.

    The $1.5 million pilot is expected to start Nov. 1.

    “We’re very excited about this new, cooperative plan that will allow us to do even more to honor organ donors’ wishes and save more lives,” the FDNY said in a statement.

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    1. Yes. Clinical death (“dead”) is not the same as organ death. The heart and brain may be dead but some organs (corneas, kidneys, skin, etc.) can remain viable for a few hours under the proper conditions.

    2. Excellent idea. And by delaying the response time just a bit, they can turn a potential revenue drain (heart attack patient in hospital) into a source of organs.

      Very nifty.

      • FDNY has no economic incentive here. They don’t run transplant centers, don’t bill for transplants, and have nothing to gain from developing a source of organs–I don’t think they can even bill for transporting the body to Bellevue. They don’t have a “revenue drain” by bringing a heart attack patient to a hospital: if anything, FDNY (and the other EMS agencies in the 9-1-1 system) only can bill when they transport a patient to the hospital.


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