Modern medicine is incredible – the success rate for organ transplants continues to rise, doubling and quadrupling patients’ chances of survival compared to those on the waiting list in some cases. Unfortunately, the transplant waiting list is growing at a rate faster than organs are being donated. According to organdonor.gov, an average of 17 people in the U.S. die each day while waiting for an organ transplant. If you haven’t yet registered to become an organ donor, we hope you’ll consider doing so for the following reasons:
- One donor can save up to eight lives with vital organs and up to 75 lives with tissue. Your healthy heart, 2 lungs, liver, pancreas, 2 kidneys, and intestines can all be given to individuals on the waiting list, as can your cornea, skin, heart valves, bone, blood vessels, and connective tissue.
- Since only 3 in 1,000 people die in a way that allows for organ donation, we need as many organ donors as possible. Organ recovery is tricky because it requires that the organs be supplied with oxygen-rich blood prior to transplant. When a donor dies in a hospital, he may be temporarily placed on artificial respiration to keep his heart beating so blood flow can continue.
- Registering as an organ donor will NOT affect the medical care you receive. Your medical team is completely separate from the transplant team and will make every effort to save your life.
- There is no age limit to become a donor. The oldest documented organ donor in the U.S. was a 92 year old man who successfully donated his liver to an individual on the waiting list.
- Open casket services are still possible with organ donation. Organs are removed surgically and all incisions are closed so your body will not be disfigured as a result of organ donation.
Ready to become an organ donor?
Organ donation is as easy as checking off a box at the DMV when you apply for your drivers’ license or registering online. Here’s the link to register as an organ donor in Texas: https://www.donatelifetexas.org/register/