Over 100,000 people in the U.S. are waiting for an organ transplant, and unfortunately many never get the call. An organ transplant is a second chance at life; each day 21 people die because of a lack of donor organs. If you’ve not considered being an organ donor, or have delayed the process, here are some answers to common questions and concerns.
According to the American Transplant Foundation, you can be a living donor (donating organs such as a kidney while you are living) or deceased donor (when you specify your body to be used for organ donation once you have passed). Living donors are usually between the ages of 18 and 60 and like other donations, you must have a compatible blood type, tissue type and other markers to be eligible. Before any organ donation, both the donor and the recipient will be carefully evaluated and tested to ensure the organ has a good chance for survival.
One deceased organ donor has the potential of changing eight lives and impacting 75 others with tissue and corneal transplants. Individuals who receive a lung transplant may live three years or more after the transplant, and 70 percent of those who receive a heart transplant live five years or more. A kidney transplant may add an additional 15 years to the recipient. Nearly 3,000 lives can be affected by intestinal transplants and one in 20 Americans can benefit from a tissue transplant.
At a time that is often challenging, many donor families are able to take comfort in knowing their loved one helped save many other lives.
False! Your doctors are focused on saving your life and not someone else’s. Your condition will be treated and addressed first and foremost.
False! Organ and tissue donation do not interfere with an open casket funeral, as your body is clothed for burial. Any skin donation is taken from the back and when bones are donated, a rod is inserted where the bone is removed.
False! The organ donor’s family is never charged for the gift of life to another.
Signing up to be an organ donor is simple. You can sign up online on your state registry. Most allow you to choose the organs and tissues you’d like to donate and update your status at any time. You can also sign up at your local motor vehicle department with your driver’s license or photo ID and another form of identification. However, signing up as a deceased donation or living donor does not guarantee you’ll be able to donate your organs, eyes or tissues.
April is Donate Life month, and at Amare Medical Staffing we are committed to the provision of excellent medical care. We’d like all your questions to be answered before you make any decision, whether to donate an organ or before working with our agency. We believe the best decisions are made by informed people. Contact us today so we can answer your questions!