Health Beat: Organ rationing: Who lives? Who dies?
Updated On: Dec 11 2013 04:36:47 PM CST
More than 119,000 people are waiting for organ transplants in the U.S. Only a small fraction of them will get the organs they need.
We've discovered it's not just how sick you are, but where you live that can determine whether you get a lifesaving organ.
Matthew Rosiello was born with biliary atresia, which causes bile to build up in the liver and damage the vital organ.
"So, basically I was dying and I didn’t even know," said Rosiello, who was on the transplant list near his home in New York City.
In some metropolitan areas, experts said the wait for an organ can be longer. Rosiello decided to multi-list and visited two other hospitals in Connecticut and Ohio.
He got his new liver in Cleveland, but multi-listing can take more time, money and support from family. It's one reason why some say the system needs to change.
In the United States, there are eleven regions for organ sharing.
Rather than state borders, Teperman suggests concentric circles, meaning organs would be shared by a group of states or cities, organized by distance, time and population — giving more patients more options.
"I'm a prime example of how it can save people's lives," Rosiello explained.
On average, 18 people die in the U.S. each day waiting for an organ, but more donors can help prevent that. If you’re interested in becoming an organ donor, go to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services organ donor website.
Copyright 2013 WFMZ. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
Police: Death of female found in remote area of Berks deemed 'suspicious'
People paying respect to loved ones as car overturns in cemetery
Easter bunny train sparks brush fires in Phillipsburg area
Police: Man carrying dead snake smashes window at Target
Police charge suspect in Bethlehem Twp. hit-and-run
Woman 'critical' after crash with truck near Kutztown
Police arrest 13 during Allentown drug raid
Police search for woman accused of beating, stabbing man
Wreck closes Route 309 in Lehigh County
Car, tow truck get stuck on embankment in Berks County