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Increase In Organ Donations, Heart Transplants08:32
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Doctors perform the 38th heart transplant in 2016 at Tufts Medical Center on Friday, August 19. (Tufts Medical Center)
Doctors perform the 38th heart transplant in 2016 at Tufts Medical Center on Friday, August 19. (Tufts Medical Center)
This article is more than 3 years old.

An unexpected consequence of the nation's opioid epidemic is that more organs are available for transplant. The New England Organ Bank says in 2011 about eight percent of heart transplants involved donors who died of drug overdoses. So far this year, more than 30 percent the transplants involve hearts from someone who overdosed.

That has contributed to a record-breaking number of heart transplants at Tufts Medical Center. Last Friday, Tufts doctors performed the hospitals 38th heart transplant. The previous record was 37 transplants in a single year.

You can register to become a donor at donatelifenewengland.org.

Guest

David DeNofrio, MD, director of the Advanced Heart Failure Program at Tufts Medical Center, which tweets @TuftsMedicalCtr.

This segment aired on August 23, 2016.

Deborah Becker Twitter Host/Reporter
Deborah Becker is a senior correspondent and host at WBUR. Her reporting focuses on mental health, criminal justice and education.

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Kathleen McNerney Twitter Senior Producer / Editor, Edify
Kathleen McNerney is senior producer/editor of Edify.

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