Organ donation is crucial to the survival of many people, with over a hundred thousand people currently waiting on a list to receive an organ donation for transplant. Fortunately, there’s something we can do to help with this problem. Listed below are several ways how you can help become a donor and save lives.
This is the most common way that people become donors. Usually signified by a label on your driver’s license, being a deceased donor means that potentially, based on needs and the conditions of your death (ie stroke, aneurysm, etc.), some of your organs such as skin, heart, kidneys, among others are collected and prepped for recipients to receive them. There is a common misunderstood fear that deceased donors are given less care because they could be used for their organs, but this myth is dispelled in our other article regarding myths about organ donations. Please refer to our blog section to learn more about myths in the organ donation process.
The process for living donation is a bit more complicated and less common as the donor voluntarily offers up an organ while still alive and healthy. The list of organs you can donate is a lot more limited while alive as most of your organs are necessary for your survival. The only organs you can donate while alive are usually one of your kidneys, as you have two and can survive on one, one to two lobes of your liver as your liver cells regenerate until nearly healed, and part/full lung, part of pancreas, and part of intestine as these organs do not regenerate and are important for your body’s functions. While there may be complications following the donation procedure, current studies find that most donors are healthy and well after donating an organ.
Every 20 minutes, someone on the transplant waiting list dies because of the inability to find a suitable organ to match. While the decision to donate is a personal choice and should be done after serious thought and consideration, being a deceased donor has virtually no downsides with the upside potential of saving lives. If you are ever interested in becoming a donor, please visit organdonor.gov to see more information on how to become a donor in your state as every state is different. For more information on organ donation, please refer to the other articles on the matter posted in our blog section.
Forbes Aggabao -Alexander’s Hope Intern