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The Internet, also known as the information superhighway, cyberspace or the World Wide Web, is a conglomeration of thousands of computer networks across over 70 countries, with an estimated 20 million users. Services accessible via the internet include e-mail (a messaging system), electronic news (bulletin board systems on particular subjects), and access to vast amounts of information on a huge range of subjects.
Using a modem and suitable software, it is possible to dial into the internet via one of many internet providers (such as demon, compuserve, pipex, easynet...) and access the services and information provided. This document provides a list of some of the most popular sites relating to transplantation and organ donation. However, the Internet is a fast-moving, constantly updated resource, with new sites being added every day - so these sites are only a guide. Also included are some more general medical and health related sites which may be useful.
There are so many sites on the internet that it can often be most effective to 'search' for particular topics using one of the many search engines which will look on your behalf, using key words. However, sometimes such searches pull out thousands of lists of sites, many of which will not be directly relevant. Search engines such as Alta Vista and Magellan are particularly helpful when looking for health-related information. To carry out a search, simply click on the button marked 'Net Search' (or similar) and follow the step-by-step instructions on screen.
British Organ Donor Society (BODY) This site is still fairly embryonic, but gives details of the UK charity BODY, and of the umbrella group TIME - Transplants in Mind. TIME organises the annual public awareness campaign National Transplant Week, and represents all the major UK charities involved in organ donation and transplantation. The site also gives information on the British Transplant Games.
Children's Organ Transplant Association With the aim of helping raise funds, the COTA group works to ensure that no individual in the US is excluded from transplantation because of a lack of funds. Contains personal testimonies and general information on transplantation
The Michigan Coalition on Donation A non profit alliance of professional, patient, health, science, transplant and voluntary organisations which works to increase public awareness of organ and tissue donation. Contains a number of links to other good transplantation sites.
National Kidney Federation (US) This site looks as if it will be a useful source of information, not just about kidney transplants, but kidney disease in general, as well as details of public education and fundraising campaigns planned. However, at the time of visiting, large sections of the site were still under construction. Well worth visiting.
Transweb - Transplantation and Donation This site contains a huge amount of information, with sections for patient information and information for healthcare professionals. One very useful area is their page Transplantation resources on the Internet with links to other web sites related to transplantation. However, like many web pages, it is US based, which means there is not much information on activities taking place outside the States. This is the most comprehensive site visited, and the best first stop on a tour of transplant related resources on the internet.
Doctors' Guide to the Internet An excellent starting point to access newsgroups, link sites and information on a number of topics. Contains comprehensive listing of medical conferences, and links to search engines such as Magellan, Alta Vista and Yahoo
HealthWorld Free access to MedLine
NIH's National Library of Medicine