Organ transplantation is one of the most miraculous marvels of modern medicine. There is a great need for donors-which far exceeds the number of those who actually donate. More than 28,000 lives are saved each year by organ donation. Unfortunately, there are still (roughly) 123,000 people in the United States on the organ transplant waiting list. And even sadder, on average, 21 people die each day as they wait for a match.
An icon on your driver’s license shows if you are an organ and tissue donor. And this icon has an amazing impact! One organ donor has the potential to save eight lives and eye and tissue donors can enhance the lives of as many as 50 people! For those with end-stage organ failure-it is truly a matter of life and death.
People of all ages, races, ethnicities and even those with some pre-existing health conditions can be potential donors. When individuals pass away, they are evaluated for donor suitability based on their medical history. One of the most important factors for the transplant to be successful is a compatible blood type between recipient and donor.
There is a national computerized list of patients waiting for organ donation. When a donor becomes available, the computer then identifies the best recipient for each organ. Factors considered are: blood and tissue types, similar body sizes, the severity of the patient’s illness, as well as time spent on the waiting list. The match starts at a local level but extends to a national level-need be. An important note-an individual financial or celebrity status does not influence their priority status!
Surveys show that 95% of adults support organ donation in the United States. However, most people support organ donation, one of the biggest obstacles seen is simply registering to be a donor. To overcome this obstacle, start by doing your own research-talk to friends and family, and make your wishes be known! The process is easy and can even be done online.
For further information, you can visit www.organ donor.gov
Donating life: the importance of organ donation. (N.d.) Retrieved May 10, 2022 www.matherhospital.org