Transplant Center is bringing more organs to MarylandIn...

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

August 22, 1999

Transplant Center is bringing more organs to Maryland

In response to Judy LaSov's letter, "Health system has failed Maryland's transplant patients" (Aug. 9), I'd like to point out that 387 people received life-saving organ transplants during 1998 at the Johns Hopkins Hospital and the University of Maryland Medical System.

Two hundred-four of those patients received kidney transplants. The patients received 226 locally recovered organs and 224 organs imported from other areas of the country.

Some patients received multiple organs and 51 locally recovered organs went to other areas of the country for transplant.

Both the Johns Hopkins Hospital and the University of Maryland Medical System rank in the top 20 of all kidney transplant programs nationwide. Success breeds demand.

During 1998, the Transplant Resource Center of Maryland (TRC), the local organ procurement organization, recovered organs from 69 donors, a 30 percent increase over the previous year.

In 1998 TRC also recovered tissue -- bone, skin (for burn victims) tendons, veins, heart valves -- from 120 tissue donors, 23 more than in the previous year. These tissues are used for transplant procedures in most area hospitals.

Ms. LaSov noted that we were "warned" about possible sanctions from the United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS). That's why we negotiated a payback program with UNOS last November.

In June, while we were continuing to reduce our "kidney debt," UNOS broke its agreement with us.

We have had more Maryland organ donors this year than at this time last year.

It's true that we all need to do even more. But ours is not a record of failure for Maryland's transplant patients.

It is a record of insufficient success for those waiting for a transplant -- the ones UNOS wants to punish.

But the more important problem, in Maryland and across the country, remains that we need more organ donors, more "Heroes for Life."

Marion Borowiecki

Baltimore

The writer is chief executive officer of the Transplant Resource Center of Maryland.

Without the Harborplace waterfront could be greener

The Sun's editorial naming James Rouse a "Marylander of the Century" asked, "Can you imagine Baltimore without Harborplace" ("James Rouse shaped our cities," Aug. 16)?

I certainly can. I imagine the harbor as a beautiful and larger version of Sam Smith State Park, which was there when I first came to Baltimore.

Then, the area around the water was greenery, with some of the park taken over by metered parking and some occupied by wholesale fruit and vegetable warehouses.

It doesn't take a landscape architect to see that the waterside should be a park. Mr. Rouse should have built his fast food and T-shirt shops away from the harbor, in some area that needed rehabilitation.

We could, then, have had a beautiful downtown park, with the National Aquarium and the Maryland Science Center and piers for antique boats and other small crafts.

Then, rather than a tourist attraction, downtown might have become more of an attraction for offices and residences.

Irving Garfinkle

Baltimore

Overreaction to drought could hurt state's economy

Once again, our governor's extreme response to a natural event has damaged the state's reputation.

The last time Gov. Parris Glendening did this, he elevated the Pfiesteria problem to a major scare. Although that issue has now faded, the scare's impact on our seafood and poultry industries has not.

The next time Perdue Farms Inc. or Tyson Foods Inc. makes an investment decision are they going to pick Maryland -- where they are under attack -- or a place where they are more welcome?

This summer the governor has focused national attention on Maryland as a state that cannot cope with a dry spell. When Coca-Cola Co. was looking to build a plant in Howard County, one of its major concerns was a reliable water supply.

They have not built their plant yet. What must they be thinking now?

No doubt the governor wants to appear to be a decisive politician, but the people of Maryland will pay the price for his posturing.

James R. Schulte

Ellicott City

Let's stop the whining over water-use restrictions

Can we please stop whining about water restrictions? They're inconvenient, but let's get a grip

I miss using my soaker hose to water my vegetable garden. And I wish I could fill up the wading pool or turn on the sprinkler for my handicapped child -- she can't do many things, but water play is one of her greatest joys.

But these are luxuries we can't afford now. We have been acting as if water is an infinite resource, and it is not.

Instead of whining that we can't wash our cars or water our lawns, we should develop some sense of perspective.

In other parts of the world, people barely have enough to survive, and here we are complaining that our lawns are turning brown. We should be ashamed.

Judi Hammett

Baltimore

Can grass survive if it isn't watered?

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