The Opioid Epidemic and What Eye Banks Need to Know

During this session, listeners will learn more about the opioid epidemic and how it may affect organ donation. Lieutenant Dustin Smith, a toxicologist for the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division, discusses the overall opioid epidemic, specifically the use of heroin and fentanyl/fentanyl analogues, the safety aspects related to encountering potential synthetic opioids, and the importance of vitreous fluid during a toxicological analysis. Then, Julie Plescia, Clinical Manager at Lifebanc, presents on how the increase of opioid related deaths has affected organ donation and the considerations that have to be made in regards to donor suitability. These speakers will provide insight into the opioid epidemic and provide attendees with information that may be helpful when recovering tissue or determining suitability. 

Length of Recording: 1 Hour

CEU: 1


Lt. Dustin Smith

Toxicologist, South Carolina Law Enforcement Division

Lt. Dustin Smith is the Supervisor of the Toxicology Department at the S.C. Law Enforcement Division.  With over 18 years of experience, he has worked thousands of cases involving DUI, cause of death and criminal sexual assault investigations.  As supervisor, he is responsible for managing the day to day operations of the toxicology lab, reviewing all cases requiring drug analysis prior to case completion, and providing interpretation and expert testimony when requested.

Lt. Smith is board certified as a Fellow of the American Board of Forensic Toxicology, is an active member of the Society of Forensic Toxicologists and serves as Vice President of the Palmetto Association of Toxicologists.  He also serves on the National Institute of Justice Technology Working Group and grant review committee and as a panel member on the National Safety Council’s Alcohol, Drugs and Impairment Division (ADID) sponsored meeting regarding updating current minimum testing standards for DUID casework. He is also a member of the South Carolina Vulnerable Adults Fatality Review Committee.   

Julia Plescia

Director of Organ Services, Lifebanc

Julie Plescia is the Director of Organ Services for Lifebanc. Julie has worked for many years in the field of organ donation and transplantation. Before assuming her current role, Julie was the Manager of Organ Services and before that she was the donor referral coordinator for Lifebanc for 6 years.  Prior to working at Lifebanc, she worked at the Cleveland Clinic in the roles of Family Liaison, Registered nurse in the Heart Failure Intensive Care Unit, In-House Lifebanc Coordinator, and the liver/intestine coordinator. Julie earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing at Ohio University and has been a Certified Clinical Transplant Coordinator since 2013. She is past co-chair of the Cleveland Clinic Organ, Tissue and Eye Donation Committee and past chair of the Nursing and Transplant Shared Governance Committee. 

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1.00 CEU credit  |  Certificate available
1.00 CEU credit  |  Certificate available