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      HealthWACH: Organ rationing

      HealthWACH: Organ ratioing

      COLUMBIA (WACH)

      Biliary atresia is a blockage in the ducts of the human body that transport bile from the liver to the gallbladder. This happens when ducts inside, or outside, of the liver do not cultivate regularly. The function of the bile ducts is to remove waste from the liver and bring salts to the small intestine to digest fat. Eventually, this may lead to serious liver damage or cirrhosis of the liver. If this condition is not treated in enough time, it may lead to death.

      The cause of biliary atresia is unknown. Most of the time the condition is present at birth and may experience other birth defects. Scientists believe that this is not a hereditary disease and is not passed on from the child??s parents. Research suggests that an early viral infection may be associated with biliary atresia.

      Symptoms may begin between two to six weeks after birth. Symptoms may include:

      • Pale/grey stool
      • Yellowing of the skin or eyes
      • Darker urine
      • Intense itching

      Experts say that the organs from one donor can save or help as many as 50 people. Skin, cornea, internal organs, bone, and bone marrow are all organs that can be donated to another human. When people decide to donate their organs, they typically donate internal organs to family or friends. Most organ and tissue donations occur after the donor has died. However, some organs and tissues can be donated while the donor is still alive. There are no limitations on who can donate. Whether you can donate depends on your physical condition, not age. Newborns as well as senior citizens have been organ donors. Non-resident aliens can both donate and receive organs in the U.S. Organs are given to patients according to medical need, not citizenship. In 2001, 334 (2.7 percent) of the 12,475 organ donors were non-resident aliens. In this same year, 259 (one percent) of the 23,998 transplants performed were on non-resident aliens.