Illinois needs to reform organ transplant system: Advocate

Photo credit Getty Images

(WBBM NEWSRADIO) -- The Biden administration has said it will overhaul the nation's organ transplant system - and an advocate for change says Illinois is one of the states where an overhaul is needed most.

The head of a nationwide organization that advocates for transplant patients - and those waiting for transplants said about 4,000 people in Illinois are waiting for life-saving transplants right now.

Greg Segal, the founder of Organize, said reform is needed in the transplant system.

One problem, he said is mismanagement by OPOs - organ procurement organizations, which deal with hospitals.

"Illinois actually had one of the best OPO's in the country, which is great, but organs, often after being recovered, cross state lines after they're transplanted into patients," Segal explained.

"I do have good friends, who work at the Illinois OPO and I only have good things to say about them, but that doesn't mean a patient waiting for a transplant at the University of Chicago or Northwestern isn't still harmed by failures at other OPO's across the country.  They absolutely are."

Segal founded Organize when his father had to wait five years for a heart transplant.

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Featured Image Photo Credit: Getty Images