Over 120,000 people. That’s the number of people in the U.S. that are currently waiting for an organ. This number increases by one more about every 12 minutes. For those who are not able to receive the needed organ, approximately a little over 7,000 people every year, die. Organ donors are something that we are in constant need of. You might be considering becoming an organ donor, if not one already. We will discuss some of the facts and how it all works.
How It Works
When any patient dies, the hospital must contact Gift of Life. The family is notified, and counseled on the process of organ recovery. Once the organs and tissues have been retrieved, they will be evaluated to determine which are
suitable for a transplant. The hospital maintains the health of the organs until they are sent to a matching recipient. After the organ is successfully transplanted, Gift of Life offers post donation services to the families of the organ donor. They can provide letters with information on who received their loved one’s donated organs and tissues.
It is also possible to donate an organ while living. It does not have to necessarily only happen when you die. A person can donate a kidney, part of the pancreas, intestine, lung, or liver while living. Doctors will run a series of tests to make sure the organ or tissue is healthy enough for transplant. They will also determine if donating the organ will put your health at a risk, whether short or long-term. If it does, then you will not be able to donate the organ.
How To Become A Donor
- When you renew your license, you can choose to be a donor.
- Tell your loved ones your wishes to be an organ donor, whether a designated health care proxy, or in your will.
- Register with the National Donate Life Registry at RegisterMe.org
- Almost anyone can become an organ donor, including anyone younger than the age of 18 as long as they have the consent of a parent or guardian.
- If you have cancer, HIV, diabetes, kidney disease, or heart disease, you might not be considered healthy enough to be a living donor. This does not mean that once you die, your healthy organs cannot be used.
- You can still have an open-casket funeral if you donate your organs. The incisions will all be closed.
- Your family will not incur any costs for anything related to organ donations, including tests and the surgery. The recipients insurance usually covers the costs.
- Old age does not disqualify you from becoming an organ donor. There may be come organs and tissues that can be used.
- If you are a living donor, there are risks that may follow surgery such as bleeding, clots, infection, and damage to other organs and tissues. It will take a while for your body to recover.
The decision to become an organ donor is an important one to research, and talk to your doctor and family about. In the end, the decision is yours to make. Becoming an organ donor will help not just cave one life, but as many as 50 lives. At times, it will help a family cope with the loss of their loved one knowing they were able to save other lives. Instead of letting your organs go to waste getting buried with you or burned, you can help save someone’s life who needs it. Every day almost 20 people a day die waiting for an organ that can save their life. Be the person to save a life, or multiple lives- become a donor.