know that one organ donor can save up to eight lives? Thatís
a pretty powerful reason to consider registering as an organ
than 119,000 men, women and children in the United States are
on the national organ transplant waiting list awaiting a
life-saving transplant. Every 10 minutes, someone is added to
the national transplant waiting list. On an average day, 77
people receive organ transplants in the U.S. But thousands
more never get the call from their transplant center saying a
suitable donor organ ó and a second chance at life ó has
donation is a generous and worthwhile decision that can be a
life-saving gift to multiple people," says Dr. Burcin
Taner, chair of the Department of Transplantation at Mayo
Clinicís Florida campus. "Thanks to the availability of
donated organs, along with regular blood donations that
replenish the blood supply so critical to the transplant
process, many people will live who might not otherwise have
to popular belief, signing a donor card or a box on your
driverís license doesnít guarantee that your organs will
be donated. The best way to ensure that your wishes are
carried out is to inform your family of your desire to donate.
Doing this in writing ensures that your wishes will be
considered. Hospitals seek consent of next of kin before
removing organs. If your family members know you wanted to be
a donor, it makes it easier for them to give their consent.
have no next of kin or doubt your family will agree to donate
your organs, you can assign durable power of attorney to
someone who you know will abide by your wishes.
medical conditions automatically disqualify you from donating
your organs. Thereís also no cutoff age for organ donation.
The decision whether or not to use your organs is based on
strict medical criteria ó not age. So donít disqualify
yourself prematurely if youíre an older person considering
becoming an organ donor.
transplant centers will allow you to be a living donor and
donate one of your kidneys to a family member, friend or
another person of your choice. You also can donate blood or
bone marrow. Donating blood is simple, something you can do
regularly (normally every eight weeks) and is an essential
component to the organ donation process. Without an adequate
supply of all blood types, transplantation cannot occur.
ó April is National Donate Life Month, so now is a good time
to consider registering as an organ donor. Learn more about
organ donation from Mayo Clinic.