Scientists are seeing a boost in the number of organs available for transplant due to the opioid epidemic, according to researchers.
- There is an increase of available organ donations
- No change of recipient's chance of survival
The effects of the opioid epidemic have created an unforeseen opportunity: An increase in the availability of organs for donation.
Researchers out of the University of Utah Health found that the organs from drug-overdose deaths are suitable for transplantation.
They found a more than 10-fold increase in the proportion of donors who died from drug intoxication between the years 2000 and 2016 in the United States
The researchers examined 17 years of transplantation records and found no significant change in the recipients' chance of survival when the organ donation came from victims of drug intoxication.
There are more than 110,000 people across the country are on the organ transplant waiting lists.
However, as the government tries to combat the opioid epidemic, experts say the transplant community does not plan to rely on drug-intoxication deaths as a long-term source of donations.