Did you know that 115,000 people are waiting for a lifesaving transplant? Transplantation gives hope to thousands of people with organ failure.
If you donated your organs, you could save up to eight lives. If you donated your tissue, you could heal the lives of 75 people.
April is National Donate Life Month! Read on to learn how to become an organ donor, who can donate, types of donation and many frequently asked questions like if registering as a donor changes your patient care.
ORGAN, EYE AND TISSUE DONATION STATISTICS
Today, there is a vast need for organ, eye and tissue donors. 115,000 men, women and children await life saving organ transplants.
- Every ten minutes, the national transplant waiting list grows by one.
- 8,000 deaths occur every year in the United States because organs are not donated in time.
- 22 people die each day because the organ they need is not donated in time.
- 82% of patients waiting are in need of a kidney.
- 1 out of 3 deceased donors is over the age of 50.
- 95 percent of Americans are in favor of being a donor, but yet only 54 percent have registered.
Help bridge the gap by sharing.
“Be a rainbow in someone else’s cloud.” — Maya Angelou
For the 2018 National Donate Life Month artwork, the image of a rainbow and the above Maya Angelou quote inspired Donate Life America. Rainbows are a symbol of optimism and hope. Donation can help turn tragedy into renewed life, renewed hope.
In 2016, 33,600 transplants brought new life and hope to patients and their families.
If you’re ready to help make a difference, registering to be a donor is easy and takes less than a minute.
WHO CAN BE A DONOR?
People of all ages and medical histories should consider themselves potential donors. At the time of death, your medical condition will determine what organs and tissue you can donate.
People of African American/Black, Asian/Pacific Islander, Hispanic/Latino, American Indian/Alaska Native and multiracial descent currently make up 58 percent of individuals on the national organ transplant waiting list. These communities are in great need of more organ and tissue donors.
TYPES OF DONATION
Living Donation saves two lives: The recipient and the next one on the deceased organ waiting list. Kidney and liver patients who are able to receive a living donor transplant can receive the best quality organ much sooner, often in less than a year.
Living donation is an opportunity to save a life while you are still living.
To spare an individual a long and ambiguous wait, relatives, loved ones, friends and individuals who wish to remain anonymous may serve as living donors.
In 2015, living donors made 6,000 transplants possible.
To learn more about types of living donations, who can be a living donor, risks and how to start the process, visit https://www.donatelife.net/types-of-donation/living-donation/.
Deceased organ, eye or tissue donation is when an organ, eye or tissue is transplanted to another person at the donor’s time of the death.
Organs and tissues that you can donate:
- Heart: 4,000 people are waiting for a new heart. *
- Lung: 1,400 adults and children are waiting for new lungs. *
- Kidney: 100,000 people are waiting for a kidney donation. *
- Liver: 14,000 people are waiting for a new liver. *
- Intestines: 250 people are waiting for new intestines. *
- Pancreas: 900 people are waiting for a new pancreas. *
- Cornea: A cornea donor can restore sight to two people. *
- Tissue: One tissue donor can restore health and heal the lives of more than 75 people. *
*In the United States
VASCULARIZED COMPOSITE ALLOGRAFTS
Vascularized Composite Allografts (VCAs) involve the transplant of many structures that may include skin, bone, muscles, blood vessels, nerves and connective tissue. The most common known type of VCAs are for hand and face transplants.
NATIONAL OBSERVANCES AND CELEBRATIONS
This month features an entire month of local, regional and national activities to help inspire Americans to register an organ, eye and tissue donors and to commend those that have saved lives through the gift of donation.
National Donate Life Blue and Green Day is Friday, April 13. Wear blue and green, hold events and fundraisers and partner with local restaurants, malls, media and community organizations to spread awareness about donation and transplantation.
Did you know that you can also register to become a donor at your local DMV?
The DMV partnership remains the primary source of donor registrations. DMVs and driver’s licensing centers have helped register more than 130 million donors. DMV Appreciation Week (September 24-28) is a time for the Donate Life Community to say thank you and show its appreciated of DMV partners throughout the country.
DOES REGISTERING AS A DONOR CHANGE MY PATIENT CARE?
According to the Donate Life website:
“Your life always comes first. Doctors work tirelessly to save every patient’s life, but sometimes there is a complete and irreversible loss of brain function. Only when the doctor declares the patient clinically and legally dead, is donation an option.”
WOMEN’S HEALTHCARE OF MORGANTOWN | PRIMARY CARE SERVICES MORGANTOWN, WV
The best long-term solution to solving the organ donor shortage is to avoid the need for transplantation.
Make sure you:
- Have you blood pressure checked routinely
- Exercise regularly
- Limit foods high in salt, cholesterol and saturated fats, such as fried foods, which can clog the arteries
- Visit your doctor at least once a year to get tested for diabetes and other illnesses that lead to organ failure
Women’s Healthcare of Morgantown offers services that test and manage chronic illnesses including diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, high cholesterol, arthritis, asthma and chronic lung disease.
If you would like to help spread hope, register to become an organ donor today.