Organ donation is the process of giving an organ or part of an organ for the purpose of transplantation into another person.* While some view organ donation as a controversial process, a single organ donor can save up to eight lives, and enhance the lives of up to 100 more.
When does someone need an organ donor?
Dr. Alvergue: Most medical conditions can be successfully managed medically for years; however, sometimes despite optimal medical therapy, some conditions will worsen to the point where organs will fail, and the only answer is to replace that organ. In these cases, that’s where transplantation comes into play.
How many people need donations?
Dr. Alvergue: Currently, there are about 120,000 people on the transplant list for or some type of organ. Sadly, about 6,500 patients die each year because they didn’t get their organ in time. That’s about 18 patients each day.
Who can be a donor?
Dr. Alvergue: Anyone can be a donor. Parents can give consent for children to be organ donors as well. At the time of harvest, specialized doctors will determine if the organs are suitable for use in other patients.
Which organs can be donated?
Dr. Alvergue: Commonly, people think about the heart, lungs, liver and kidneys. But there are other organs that people don’t realize can be donate as well such as the pancreas and small bowel. Aside from organs, other tissues and of course blood and bone marrow can also be donated. The most transplanted tissue is actually the cornea. So when a person signs up to be a donor, they could be potentially be benefiting the lives of many recipients.
*Courtesy of www.donatelife.net.