Pancreas: Long, irregularly shaped gland that lies behind the stomach. Some glands in the pancreas secrete insulin. Pancreas transplants give patients with diabetes a chance to become independent of insulin injections. In addition to insulin, the pancreas secretes digestive enzymes (into the small intestine) that aid in the digestion of proteins, carbohydrates, and fats. Both multivisceral and modified multivisceral transplants include the pancreas as a transplanted organ.
Pancreatic Enzymes: These are substances released by your pancreas into the duodenum (first part of the small intestine) that are required for digestion of food. The pancreas also secretes bicarbonate which helps neutralize stomach acid.
Panel reactive antibody (PRA): This is a blood test used to find out how a potential organ recipient will react to a donor organ. A patient with a PRA of 80% will likely reject 80% of donor kidneys. Patients with a high PRA have priority on the waiting list. The more antibodies in the recipient’s blood, the more likely the recipient will react against the donor organ. For example, patients who have received multiple blood transfusions are likely to have more antibodies in their blood and a higher PRA.
Peritoneal Dialysis: A process of filtering waste using the peritoneal membrane inside the abdomen. The abdomen is filled with special solutions that help remove toxins. The solutions remain in the abdomen for a time and then are drained out. This form of dialysis can be performed at home but must be done every day.
Procurement: The surgical procedure of removing an organ, corneas or other tissue(s) from a donor. See Recovery.
Procurement Coordinator: Staff member of the OPO, typically a nurse, paramedic or other medically trained individual who is responsible for evaluating potential donors, discussing donation with family members, medically managing the donor prior to the recovery of organs and tissues and arranging for the donation process (removal and transport of donated organs).