UK HealthCare anesthesiologist Dr. Rae Brown has led the FDA advisory committee since last year, providing expert recommendations on opioid regulation.

UK anesthesiologist brings expertise to FDA’s opioid review committee

Raeford E. Brown Jr., MD, FAAP

UK HealthCare anesthesiologist and professor Dr. Rae Brown has led the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) advisory committee since last year, providing expert recommendations on opioid regulation and developing strategies to mitigate opioid risks in society.

In July 2016, Brown was named chair of the FDA Advisory Committee on Analgesics and Anesthetics. He was nominated to serve on the committee by the Commissioner of FDA in 2015 and served on the committee for a year prior to being named chair.

The committee is composed of physicians and scientists from across the nation with expertise in anesthesiology, opioid pharmacology, clinical research and epidemiology. The advisory committee meets monthly at FDA headquarters in Silver Spring, Maryland.

Tackling the opioid crisis

During the past year, the committee has reviewed risk mitigation strategies that serve as a major agency response to the current opioid crisis. In addition, the committee has evaluated 10 abuse deterrent formulations of opioids, discussed the risks and benefits of increasing the availability of naloxone – a drug to treat opioid overdose – and reviewed the risks of codeine in the pediatric population. Brown said the committee is cautious and deliberate in scrutinizing every product reviewed for the market, as the availability of new opioids can make the ongoing epidemic in America much worse.

“My first question is, ‘Is it safe?’” Brown said of reviewing opioid deterrents presented to the committee. “Is it a safe medication for the group it is marketed to, and is it effective? My second question is, ‘Do the data support whether or not it has a real deterrent properties that are going to stand up to all the chemists in the U.S.?’ ”

Developing new clinical trials for pediatric patients

In September 2016, Brown served as the chair of an FDA symposium on the lack of clinical trials demonstrating the safety and effectiveness of opioids in infants, especially the premature. Brown, a professor of pediatric anesthesiology, is now involved in the development of an international consortium designed to provide large numbers of pediatric patients for unique safety trials.

Brown will serve as the chair of this committee for three more years. He also currently serves as the chair-elect of the Section on Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine of the American Academy of Pediatrics and will be appointed chair in November of 2017.


Next steps:

  • At the National Rx Drug Abuse and Heroin Summit in Atlanta, UK clinicians, researchers and health policy leaders led discussions on how to combat the opioid drug crisis.
  • Surgical procedures, both major and minor, require pain management. UK Anesthesiology & Pain Management provides comprehensive anesthesiology services following surgeries, as well as for chronic and cancer-related symptoms.
Gilson Capilouto, PhD, along with Tommy Cunningham, PhD, created a device that can measure and improve neonatal feeding, which some infants struggle with.

First-of-its-kind infant feeding device gets its start at UK

Since the early days of her career, Gilson Capilouto, PhD, has been interested in pediatric feeding, but it wasn’t until she joined the UK’s multidisciplinary team in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) that she became especially interested in feeding challenges for children who are born early or with illnesses. Around 15 million babies are born prematurely in the U.S. each year, and up to 70 percent of them, as well as about 10 percent of full-term babies, experience difficultly transitioning to oral feeding.

“My interest in neonatal feeding began in earnest when I came to UK 15 years ago. It seemed a natural extension of the work I was doing as part of the UK NICU multidisciplinary team, following high-risk infants after they’re discharged from the hospital,” Capilouto said.

Feeding is important for a baby’s nutrition, of course, but it also has implications for long-term development and eating. Neonatal sucking is considered the most complex behavior of a newborn. Research suggests that infant sucking may provide an early window into the overall integrity of the central nervous system, possibly predicting long-term neurodevelopmental outcomes. Studies have shown that early sucking correlates with overall development at six months, one year and two years. Infant feeding problems can also spill over into eating difficulties with solid food, especially in cases where feeding might have been an unpleasant experience during infancy, and can cause great distress for caregivers.

Skip ahead a few years, and Gilson and her business partner Tommy Cunningham, PhD, now run an award-winning company, NFANT Labs, LLC, based on a device they developed to measure the strength and coordination of an infant’s ability to suck. The device, called the nfant Feeding Solution, is essentially a “smart” baby bottle that uses low-energy Bluetooth technology and a mobile app to provide immediately actionable information about what’s going on with an infant’s feeding. It displays the impact of feeding interventions in real time, tracks and charts infant progress, and creates a continuity of care among caregivers. It’s also the first “internet of things” medical device cleared by the Food and Drug Administration for use in the NICU. (You can see the device here.)

UK’s multidisciplinary NICU initiates research

This journey began as a simple research question that came to Capilouto during a continuing education conference focused on feeding preterm and sick term infants in the NICU.

“This whole thing started when I was attending a conference and the speaker was talking about the fact that for adults who aren’t orally fed for a while, their tongue muscle atrophies in a short period of time,” Capilouto said. “But we didn’t know if this was true in pre-term babies, who could go many weeks before they’re ever allowed to feed orally, sometime around 32-34 weeks gestation. So if baby is born at 28 weeks, for example, it will be many weeks before they can start to use their tongue muscle.”

When she got back to UK, Capilouto assembled a multidisciplinary team that could undertake the task of trying to measure infant sucking. The group included an expert in muscle biomechanics (Dr. Tim Butterfield also in the UK CHS), a muscle biologist, a clinical radiologist, and Cunningham, who at that time was at UK as a PhD student in biomechanics. An inventor with a couple patents under his belt, he’d also started a small engineering firm to help clinicians develop the tools they needed to conduct their research. His particular focus was, and remains, using evidence-based medicine to inform product development.

“Gilson came to me and Dr. Butterfield and said, ‘I need a bottle that can measure the strength of a baby’s tongue.’ She specifically wanted to be able to measure tongue strength during actual bottle feeding. Dr. Butterfield and I were intrigued by the challenge and after a couple of months, we had a proof-of-concept device.”

With a grant from the Kentucky Science and Engineering Foundation in 2011, they developed and tested the device, hypothesizing that both tongue force and tongue size would be different between preterm infants beginning to orally feed and full term infants. Results of that first study provided support for their hypothesis, as pre-term infant tongue force was found to be significantly less than full-term infants relative to nutritive sucking; interestingly, simple pacifier sucking strength was not different between the two groups.

“When we got those results, we were pretty excited, we knew we wanted to continue this line of research, but we needed instrumentation that was more NICU-friendly. Ultimately we saw the clinical utility of what we were doing, so we wanted to build an instrument not just for research purposes, but also a tool that could be used in clinical practice at the bedside,” Capilouto said. “We knew we were on to something, but the methods were cumbersome – it required a bank of computers and four people to collect the data, and we knew for the long term that would not be feasible.”

Following release of the Intellectual Property from the University, Capilouto and Cunningham sought further funding from the Office of Research in the UK College of Health Sciences in 2012 to help them develop a second prototype that could be used bedside in the NICU.

“We leveraged a lot of technologies out there, like what’s in your cell phone, and built it on a scale to fit around a baby bottle so it could be easily incorporated to bedside work flow. We also wanted the final device to be easy to use and low cost. Millions of cell phones are made, so that drives down prices of the components,” Cunningham said.

Testing the second prototype provided the necessary confirmation for the new design and also provided important feedback about desirable features and characteristics from NICU bedside nurses. Armed with this information, Cunningham, who had moved to Atlanta after he finished his PhD at UK, left his job to devote himself full-time to development of the device. After rapid prototyping and validating the final device, Capilouto and Cunningham founded NFANT Labs, LLC, based in Atlanta, in 2013. The company has two patents and a third one pending.

In the fall of 2015, the nfant Feeding Solution device was cleared by the FDA and that following January, Capilouto took a one-year, university-approved entrepreneurial leave of absence and relocated to Atlanta to work with the company. During this time, they were able to introduce the product in NICUs around the country and establish partnerships for conducting clinical trials. The company also developed, tested and launched a second product — a line of high quality silicone bottle nipples.

UK offers its support

Currently, a novel methodology award from the UK Center for Clinical and Translational Science and the UK College of Health Sciences supports a research study to determine if the measures of sucking performance from the nfant Feeding Solution can be used to identify infants who are most likely to experience ongoing feeding problems after discharge. Dr. Peter Giannone, chief of the division of neonatology at UK, serves as co-investigator on the grant.

The study is following preterm infants at high risk for developmental concerns from hospital discharge through their first year. For those babies whose one-year developmental testing reveals cognitive or motor issues, the team will go back to data from their early feeding behaviors in the hospital in the hopes of identifying sucking performance variables that could possibly have predictive power.

“We want to identify babies who we are at risk for poor developmental outcomes as early as possible, so we can get them the help they need as soon as possible and take advantage of the mechanisms of neuroplasticity.” Capilouto said.

NFANT Labs has earned several accolades for its pioneering work. In March of this year, the Technology Association of Georgia, the state’s leading association dedicated to the promotion and economic advancement of Georgia’s technology industry, named nfant Feeding Solution as the Breakthrough Technology of the Year and NFANT Labs one of its Top 10 Innovative Technology Companies in the state. Last year, NFANT Labs was named a Silicon Labs “Internet of Things Hero” and also received Georgia Bio’s coveted Innovation Award. In 2015, the company received the E-Achiever Award from the Lexington Venture Group.

With this strong foundation, NFANT Labs is experiencing rapid growth. To date, they have raised $3.5 million of private capital and are gearing up to raise another $5 million to expand their sales force, create additional products and take the company to the next level. The device is being used in NICUs across the country to assist healthcare teams in clinical decision making regarding a fragile infant’s transition to oral feeding. UK is currently in the process of purchasing and integrating it into their standard of care. It is also being used in several of the top children’s hospitals in the country to study important research questions, including the relationship between early sucking performance and neonatal brain injury.

Capilouto and Cunningham both emphasize the necessity of a team that takes advantage of multiple fields of expertise.

“To get us to this point, we assembled a distinctive interdisciplinary research team consisting of basic, translational and clinical investigators with expertise in pediatric feeding and swallowing, muscle physiology, muscle biomechanics, biomedical engineering, diagnostic radiology and neonatology,” Capilouto said.

Cunningham added that “the idea is just one thing. You need clinical research, executive leadership, capital backing, sales and marketing, manufacturing, etc. It takes a vast amount of resources to go from an idea to a sustainable business focused on improving patient care.”

As their company grows, the team hopes to broaden the use of the nfant Feeding System to learn more about feeding behaviors and neurodevelopment of specific groups of infants, as well as extend their capacity to support caregivers.


Next steps:

living donor

What does it take to be a living organ donor?

For patients with kidney disease who want to live a life free of dialysis, kidney transplantation is the best option.

Donor kidneys come from two sources. The first source is from deceased donors, or individuals who have passed away but still have viable, healthy organs. Unfortunately, the need for deceased-donor kidneys is far greater than the availability, which means patients often have to wait years for a transplant.

Living donation is the second source of donor kidneys and is an excellent alternative to deceased donation. The wait time for transplant can be a matter of weeks rather than years, and kidneys from living donors tend to work better and last longer than kidneys from deceased donors. About one third of kidney transplants performed in the United States come from living donation, which has increasingly become the gold standard in kidney transplantation.

Learn more below about who can become a living donor and what the process entails.

Becoming a living donor

Sharing the “gift of life” is a selfless act that can have a profound impact on someone else. The UK Transplant Center is committed to guiding you through the donation process, which includes the following:

  • A thorough evaluation to determine if donation is a safe option for you.
  • A multidisciplinary medical team involved in evaluation, surgery and follow-up care.

Living donor qualifications

In order to be a compatible living donor, you must:

  • Be at least 18 years old.
  • Be in excellent overall health.
  • Have above average kidney function.
  • Have a willingness to help.

You do not have to be a blood relative of the recipient. A spouse, friend, coworker or anyone who is willing to help may be eligible to donate.

Evaluation

You will be asked to complete a medical questionnaire that will be reviewed by the Living Donor Committee. If approved to move forward, you will be scheduled for a thorough medical evaluation and screening process including lab work; testing; and social work, medical and surgical consultations. If the established criteria are met, your living donor transplant operation will be scheduled at a time convenient for you.

Surgery

You will be admitted to the hospital on the day of transplant and can usually go home two to three days after the procedure. The donor surgeon uses a laparoscopic technique with small incisions, shortening the recovery time in the hospital and generally allowing you to return to work within four to six weeks.

Cost

There is no cost to you or your insurance for medical care. You will be followed by the UK Transplant Center for two years after donation at no cost.


Next steps:

  • If you’re interested in being considered as a living donor, contact the UK Transplant Living Donor Program at 859-323-2467.
  • Learn more about the UK Transplant Center, which has performed more than 2,500 kidney transplants and has developed a reputation for excellence in kidney transplantation.
The 29th annual Barnstable Brown Kentucky Derby Eve Gala will take place Friday, May 5 in Louisville. It has raised over $13 million over the past decade.

Celebrity guests announced for this year’s Barnstable Brown Kentucky Derby Eve Gala

The 29th annual Barnstable Brown Kentucky Derby Eve Gala will take place Friday, May 5 in Louisville. The gala benefits the UK Barnstable Brown Kentucky Diabetes and Obesity Center.

Even if you aren’t able to attend the Barnstable Brown Derby Eve Gala, you can still support the groundbreaking diabetes research at the UK HealthCare Barnstable Brown Diabetes Center. Donations can be sent to: UK HealthCare Office of Philanthropy, Attn: Barnstable Brown Diabetes Center, PO Box 34184, Lexington, KY 40588.

The annual star-studded bash is held at the home of Patricia Barnstable-Brown, who co-hosts the event with her twin sister, Priscilla Barnstable. The event is internationally recognized as the “premier” Kentucky Derby gala and counted among the “Ten Best Parties in the World” by Condé Nast.

This year’s guests will include:

  • Tom Brady
  • Kid Rock
  • Tracy Morgan
  • Katie Couric
  • Larry David
  • Kacey Musgraves
  • Aaron Rodgers
  • Sammy Hagar
  • Richie Sambora
  • Harry Connick Jr.
  • Brian McKnight
  • Maren Morris (Grammy-winning country music artist)
  • Rob Gronkowski (New England Patriots)
  • Kix Brooks (Brooks & Dunn)
  • Justin Hartley (This is Us)
  • Boyz II Men
  • Rickie Fowler (PGA Tour golfer)
  • Brooks Koepka (PGA Tour golfer)
  • Justin Thomas (PGA Tour golfer)
  • Jimmy Walker (PGA Tour golfer)
  • Johnny Gill
  • Montgomery Gentry
  • Orianthi
  • Stephen Amell
  • Josh Henderson
  • Travis Tritt
  • Terri Clark
  • Cam (Grammy-nominated country music artist)
  • Clay Walker
  • Giada De Laurentiis
  • Chrishell Stause
  • Lynyrd Skynyrd’s Rickey Medlocke
  • Jordan Smith (The Voice)
  • Taylor Dayne
  • Joey Fatone
  • Bode Miller
  • Mary Wilson
  • Randall Cobb (Green Bay Packers)
  • Jay Gruden (NFL head coach)
  • Wes Welker (former All-Pro NFL player)
  • Matt Cassel (Tennessee Titans)
  • Mike Vrabel (Houston Texans)
  • Larry Izzo (Houston Texans)
  • Rob O’Neill (Decorated U.S. Navy Seal)
  • Larry Birkhead
  • Justin Cornwell (Training Day)

Next steps:

Congenital heart defects

48 years later, UK heart patient continues to thrive

Sonja Embry

Childhood photo of Sonja Embry

Sonja Embry was born with a congenital heart defect called tetralogy of Fallot. It’s a condition known as “Blue Baby Syndrome,” because valve defects and holes in the heart cause oxygen-poor blood to pump into the body, giving kids and infants with the condition blue-tinged skin.

Embry’s condition prevented her from having a normal childhood. She was often so tired that neighbors carried her to her one-room school every day.

At the time of Embry’s birth, most children with the condition did not survive to adulthood because no surgical procedure existed to repair the defects.

But Sonja did survive, and in 1969 at the age of 24, she underwent a new surgical procedure at the University of Kentucky to repair her heart defects. She went on to secretarial school and enjoyed a long career with the Department of the Navy in Washington D.C. and Memphis. At 71, she leads an active life and still drives to and from her home in Memphis to Western Kentucky to visit family and friends.

She is believed to be one of the oldest living patients with this defect.

Four decades of comprehensive treatment for heart defects

Now, nearly 50 years after Embry’s surgery, the UK Gill Heart & Vascular Institute is a leader in providing comprehensive, personalized care for adults born with congenital heart defects.

Adults born with heart defects face unique challenges. They outgrow their pediatric cardiologists, but their heart problems can be very different from cardiac conditions that begin during adulthood.

The Kentucky Adult Congenital Heart Program (KACH) at Gill is led by Dr. Andrew Leventhal and is the only such program in Central and Eastern Kentucky.

Unlike when Sonja needed treatment and follow-up care, adult patients with congenital heart defects can now turn to the KACH Program for lifelong care of their conditions.


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NACCDO-PAMN

Markey hosts conference for nation’s elite cancer centers

Highlighting Lexington and the services and expertise of UK HealthCare, the UK Markey Cancer Center and the Markey Cancer Foundation served last week as hosts for the 2017 annual conference for the National Association of Cancer Center Development Officers (NACCDO) and the Public Affairs and Marketing (PAMN) Network of National Cancer Centers.

In total, 437 participants representing more than 75 cancer institutions attended this year’s conference, making it one of the highest-attended conferences since the joint event began in 1987.

The NACCDO-PAMN annual conference is an opportunity for public relations, marketing and development professionals who work for major cancer centers to network and learn more from their peers about the best practices for highlighting their center’s cancer research and clinical care.

Members of the UK HealthCare community who presented during the the three-day conference included Kentucky Neuroscience Institute’s Dr. Dan Han as well as Robert DiPaola, dean of the UK College of Medicine. Han hosted a session with Kentucky Chef Ouita Michael focused on neurogastronomy, the study of how the brain influences our perceptions of what we eat. Their interactive presentation explored the unique application of using neurogastronomy to help cancer patients whose taste and appetite have been affected by treatment. DiPaola was on-hand to lead a panel discussion of cancer center directors.

Conference participants also had the option of attending a “Markey patient experience tour” highlighting six of the cancer center’s integrative medicine offerings: a cooking demo, art therapy, music therapy, narrative medicine, jin shin jyutsu, hand massage/aromatherapy and a UK HealthCare Arts in HealthCare tour.

“We were honored to host our fellow cancer center colleagues here in Lexington for this year’s conference,” said Mike Delzotti, president of the Markey Cancer Foundation. “We enjoyed not only the opportunity to provide valuable education and information for other cancer communicators across the nation, but also the chance to show off some of the things that make Markey, and Kentucky, so special.”

Check out the video below for more highlights from the conference.


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April is Women’s Eye Health and Safety Month, the perfect time for women to learn more about eye issues that affect them more regularly than men.

Women, here’s what you should know about your eyes

Dr. Shaista Vally

Dr. Shaista Vally

Written by Shaista Vally, OD, an optometrist at UK Advanced Eye Care.

Eye health and vision issues can affect everyone, but there are certain conditions that are more common in women than in men. April is Women’s Eye Health and Safety Month and a great time for women to learn more about the issues that uniquely affect them.

Dry eyes, migraines

With women’s hormonal changes being so frequent throughout their lifetime, including changes associated with birth control, it’s no wonder that women experience eye and vision issues linked with hormonal changes. Two such issues include dry eyes and migraines.

Dry eyes can be annoying and debilitating, but the good news is that they are easy to treat. Artificial tears, emulsions, gels and ointments can offer relief for dry eyes. If heavy lubrication with artificial tear eye drops is not working to manage your symptoms of burning, redness and irritation, speak with your eye doctor about alternative treatment options.

Migraines are severe, painful headaches sometimes accompanied by symptoms of nausea, numbness, light and noise sensitivity, and vomiting. But they can also cause visual disturbances known as scintillating scotomas. These moving lights and patterns, sometimes called a visual aura, can mimic the signs of a retinal detachment or tear. If you see flashes of light or spots in your view, be sure to have a dilated eye exam within 24 hours of these symptoms.

Eye issues linked to obesity

With diabetes and cardiovascular disease on the rise, Americans – both men and women – are struggling with obesity. However, overweight young women of child-bearing ages are at an increased risk for a condition known as idiopathic increased intracranial pressure, or pseudotumor cerebri. This condition causes an increase in brain pressure, damaging the optic nerves and potentially leading to blindness.

Women with pseudotumor cerebri often complain of headaches, ringing sounds in their ears and mild visual blurriness, though sometimes visual symptoms are not present at all. If you think you may be at risk for this condition and are experiencing any of these symptoms, contact your eye doctor to schedule a comprehensive eye exam.


Next steps:

UK Sports Medicine patient Lisa Hall

Runner chases Boston Marathon qualification with help of UK Sports Medicine

While teaching a fitness class in May 2012, Lisa Hall realized something was wrong with her knee.

After seeing an orthopaedic surgeon close to her home in Knoxville, Tenn., Hall was diagnosed with a tear in her meniscus, the soft disc of cartilage that cushions the knee. She underwent surgery to treat the injury and alleviate her pain so that she could continue to teach fitness classes and run. Her goal was to qualify for the Boston Marathon.

Unfortunately, Hall’s surgery was unsuccessful, and she developed bone-on-bone arthritis. In August 2012, she consulted with a second surgeon, looking for treatment options that could reduce her discomfort and allow her to continue her active lifestyle. It was then that she received some bad news: She was told she likely needed a knee replacement and that she should give up running.

Dr. Lattermann offers a solution

Christian Lattermann, MD

Hall refused to give up her dream of running the Boston Marathon, and a physician at Vanderbilt University referred her to Dr. Christian Lattermann at the UK Orthopaedic Surgery & Sports Medicine.

Lattermann specializes in treating injuries and other conditions that cause pain and degeneration of knee and shoulder joints. He recommended an osteotomy, a surgical procedure where a wedge of bone is removed from the tibia (shin bone) or femur (thigh bone) to realign the leg and shift weight from away from the area of the knee damaged by arthritis. In Hall’s case, the wedge was then filled with a bone graft and reinforced with a metal plate to support her knee.

Never one to shy away from a physical challenge, Hall completed physical therapy after surgery and was given the green light to use an indoor bike or elliptical to continue her recovery. Hall’s increased activity caused her knee pain to return, but it didn’t stop her from biking or participating in fitness classes again.

In May 2013, however, she felt a pop while performing a squat exercise and was forced to rest her knee with for five additional weeks after Lattermann surgically replaced the original plate supporting her knee.

Despite the setback, Hall followed Lattermann’s second rehabilitation instructions and returned to teaching group fitness classes. By December 2013, she was running on a special treadmill that reduced the impact of running on her knee joint. In March 2014, Hall competed in her first half marathon since her first surgery. She’s now completed two full marathons and several more half marathons.

“I really didn’t want a knee replacement, but no other doctor offered me anything else,” Hall said. “Dr. Lattermann offered me hope. I know that God led me to Dr. Lattermann and worked through him to allow me to run and teach again.”

In 2015, Lattermann removed the metal plate in her knee, and Hall continues to train. She missed her goal of qualifying for the 2017 Boston Marathon this past year by only two minutes.

‘Don’t give up’

The support Hall received from Lattermann and the care team at UK Sports Medicine is what keeps her returning to Lexington every six months for follow-up visits.

Lattermann’s advice for athletes hoping to maintain their level of activity is to talk about their goals with an orthopaedic surgeon who has expertise in both joint replacement and sports medicine. He also said it’s important for patients to understand the potential limitations of different treatment options.

“While one solution may allow high level of function, it may not allow complete pain-free activity,” Lattermann said.

Although Hall knows that not every surgical option works for every patient, she advises other patients to advocate for themselves.

“Keep searching, don’t give up – there are answers,” she said.


Next steps:

Sign up now to become an organ donor and help save lives

Nearly 1,000 Kentuckians are currently waiting for a life-saving organ donation. April is National Donate Life Month, and the perfect time to think about becoming an organ donor. If you’re interested in becoming an organ donor, but not sure exactly what it entails, check out our frequently asked questions below.

How many people are waiting for an organ transplant?

More than 119,000 people nationally are currently waiting for an organ transplant. About 134 people are added to the waiting list each day one every 10 minutes. Although approximately 80 organ transplants take place every day, on average, 18 patients die each day while waiting because the organ they needed did not become available in time.

What is the difference between organ and tissue donation?

Organ donation involves the transplantation of solid organs, such as the heart, lungs, kidneys, liver and pancreas. However, tissue donation is also extremely important. More than 1 million tissue transplants are done nationally each year, and the surgical need for tissue has been steadily rising.

Examples of tissue that can be donated include skin, bone, heart valves, blood vessels and even corneas. These donated tissues can make a huge difference in the quality of life for many patients.

What is “living donation?”

Although most donations will take place after the donor is deceased, it is possible for a living person to donate some organs or tissues. The most common is living kidney donation because humans have two kidneys, it is possible for a person to donate one kidney. Additionally, lobes of the liver or lungs can be given by a living donor. Tissues that can be donated by a living donor include skin, bone marrow and blood stem cells.

Most living donations take place between family or close friends, but sometimes they do take place between complete strangers.

Am I too old to become an organ donor?

No. You can sign up to be an organ donor, regardless of your age or medical history. The transplant team will determine at the time of your death whether your organs are healthy enough to be donated.

If I’m a donor, will doctors try to save my life?

Yes! If you’re admitted to the hospital, your doctor’s priority is your health and well-being. Donation will not be considered until all other lifesaving options have been pursued.

How can I become an organ donor?

The best way to become an organ donor is to join the Organ Donor Registry. You can do this at the DMV when you renew your driver’s license, or join online anytime at donatelifeky.org.

A single donor can save or improve the lives of more than 50 people through organ and tissue donation. It only takes minutes to join the registry, and your decision could give the gift of life to a patient in dire need.


Next steps:

  • Learn more about the UK Transplant Center, which specializes in the care of patients with advanced, end-stage organ disease. Each year, we perform more than 170 transplant procedures, helping patients from initial consultation through surgery and beyond.
  • Find out more about becoming a living donor and how the UK Transplant Center can help you through the process.
Sanders-Brown Center on Aging

Watch: 6 families coping with Alzheimer’s share their stories

Alzheimer’s doesn’t just affect the person with the disease; it affects their family and friends, too. A new video from the UK Sanders-Brown Center on Aging chronicles the emotional journey of the wives, sons, husbands and daughters whose loved ones have been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s.

Titled “Our Story,” the video debuted at the Sanders-Brown annual dinner celebration on April 13 and featured the stories of six families whose lives have been affected by Alzheimer’s disease. (Watch the video below!)

Our Story shows how Sanders-Brown helps patients and their family and friends cope with the financial, psychological and emotional impact of the disease – and how many of them are giving back by participating in research at Sanders-Brown.

“Kentucky is so fortunate to have [Sanders-Brown] right in its backyard,” said Jon Vaughn, chairman of the Sanders-Brown Center on Aging Foundation. “It seemed right to focus on the Sanders-Brown research, education and clinical programs, and its profound impact on the people who suffer in Kentucky and beyond.”

About 70,000 Kentuckians suffer from the disease, and someone new is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s every 66 seconds. Linda Van Eldik, PhD, director of the Sanders-Brown, reminded those in attendance that while there is currently no cure for Alzheimer’s disease, Sanders-Brown is a world leader in efforts to find ways to slow down the disease process or cure it altogether.

In the end, however, Sanders-Brown’s mission isn’t just about numbers, test tubes or microscopes.

“It’s about patients and their families,” she said.

Watch “Our Story” below.


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