Every 10 minutes another person is added to the organ donation waiting list.
Each day 22 people die while waiting on organs or tissue.
One donation can go to save up to 75 different people!
Over 100,000 men, women, and children are registered on the National Donation List awaiting life-saving organs or tissues. Unfortunately, more than 8,000 individuals die every year in the United States because those donations were not available.
But Wait, Who Can Donate? How Do I Know if I’m a Match?
Just about anyone can become a donor regardless of past medical history! People of any age can be considered donors. Your medical condition at the time of your death is used to determine what is usable.
This means that if you have, say, a heart condition then perhaps your heart isn’t viable. However, your corneas could still go to give sight back to two people!
Does My Religion Allow Organ Donation?
Of course, religion is a huge factor when thinking about post-mortem care. That said, nearly all major religions support organ donation as a last act of generosity.
So How Much Does it Cost to Be a Donor?
Donating your organs and tissues to help others after your passing is absolutely FREE! The only costs that an individual’s family would pay are those for medical care before death, and those accrued from funerary arrangements.
Do I Still Get a Funeral if I Donate My Organs?
Yes! Your family will still be able to pay their final respects, and in fact, an open casket viewing will still be possible if that is what you or your family would like.
Throughout the donation process the deceased’s body it treated with absolute care and respect.
Does Donation Affect How I am Treated in the Hospital Before My Death?
Not in the least. Your life always comes first. Donation is only considered an option when a patient is considered brain dead. This means that there is no chance of life-saving measures having a positive effect.
Brain Death occurs when there are none of the electrical impulses being sent from the brain to control the automatic functions of the body such as breathing, pulse regulation, and more. This means that the individual is no longer able to sustain life. In some cases, an individual can be kept on life support. However, it is important to understand that without mechanical assistance the individual would not be able to perform the basic functions that make their body compatible with life.
Does My Social or Financial Status Affect My Ability to Donate?
No! Not at all! When organs or tissues are donated a National System matches them with an individual based on factors such as blood type, body size, donor distance from the recipient, etc. This means that all donations are seen as equal.
Factors such as race, gender, or socioeconomic status are never considered when organs and tissues are matched to a recipient.
Why Is It Important for Everyone to Donate?
Transplantation is a complicated process. Several factors come into play when donated organs are matched with their recipient. As a general rule, transplantation works best when there is a match between donor and recipient medically. This includes factors such as blood type, ethnic background, and gender.
Your donation could go to be the perfect match for someone who is on a waiting list as many communities such as people of color, Native Americans, and those of multiracial decent are waiting for life-saving donations.
In fact, people of African-American, Asian/Pacific Islander, Hispanic/Latino, American Indian/Alaskan Native, and multiracial decent make up 58% of the population waiting on organs or tissues.While 94% of Individuals in the US approve of organ donation a mere 54% are registered donors. What's stopping you? Click To Tweet
In 2016 over 35,000 donations brought individuals waiting for the transplant for a new lease on life. Since the program began in 1988, more than 680,000 organ or tissue transplants have taken place!
Of course, an individual’s death and discussion of what will become of them following that event are uncomfortable. Who wants to face their own mortality?
The life-saving gift of organ and tissue donation is one that should be discussed and carefully considered, though. The chance for your passing to bring life to others is one that should be an important issue for everyone.
This is not a sponsored post, and I was in no way compensated for my opinion or words. I am very passionate about this issue and educating individuals about the life-saving impact that a donation of their organs and tissues can have on others.
For more health-related posts be sure to visit the Spoonies section of our site!
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