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Organ Donation

Organ Donation Facts

In the United States, over 117,000 people are on the list for a lifesaving organ donation and hundreds of thousands more are hoping for a life-enhancing tissue transplant, like a bone marrow transplant. Everyday, 18 people die waiting for tissue or organs.

Thankfully, one donor can save the lives of up to eight people through organ donation and help more than 50 people through tissue donation. Tissue and organs that can be donated include:

  • Heart/heart valves
  • Lungs
  • Liver
  • Kidneys
  • Pancreas
  • Intestines
  • Bone/soft tissue
  • Corneas
  • Skin
  • Femoral and saphenous veins
  • Tendons

Common Myths About Organ Donation

Myth #1: If emergency doctors know you are an organ donor, they won’t try as hard to save your life.

Truth: If you are sick or injured and admitted to the hospital, the doctors top priority is to save your life. Organ and tissue donation can only be considered if you die and after your family is consulted.

Myth #2: Having “organ donor” noted on your driver’s license or donor card is enough to make you a donor.

Truth: Before donation can take place, the family is always consulted. Simply signing a donor card or indicating it on your driver’s license is not enough. Tell your family you want to donate your organs and/or tissue so they can carry out your wishes when the time comes.

Deciding to Become a Donor

You can save lives by making the decision to be an organ and tissue donor. Before you decide to be a donor, consider the following:

Family

The most important part of deciding to be a donor is telling your family. Even if you signed a donor card or indicated your wish to donate on your driver’s license, you need to tell your family because they are consulted before the donation can occur. There is no cost to your family for organ and tissue donation; however, funeral costs remain your family’s responsibility. An open-casket funeral is possible for organ and tissue donors.

Religion

All major religions approve of organ and tissue donation and consider donation a great gift.

For more information on organ donation, visit www.organdonor.gov.