Every day, about 79 people in the United States receive organ transplants and another 18 die for lack of an available organ. Did you know that one organ donor can save up to eight lives?
Right now, more than 115,000 men, women, and children are on the waiting list for an organ transplant (White House, 2013). Organ donation saves lives! Organ recipient Alonzo Mourning calls it, “a gift beyond compare.”
As of May 2009, the percentage of recipients who were still living five years after their transplant:
- kidney: 69.3%
- heart: 74.9%
- liver: 73.8%
- lung: 54.4%
Are you eligible to be an organ donor after you pass away?
Most likely, yes. Everyone, from newborn babies to senior citizens have successfully donated organs. Condition of organs is more important than age. The transplant team will evaluate organs for suitability. Parent or guardian consent is required for children under age 18. Absolute exclusions include:
- HIV infection
- active cancer
- systemic infection
What organs and tissues can be donated?
- heart valves
- blood vessels
- connective tissue
- bone marrow
- stem cells
- umbilical cord blood
- peripheral blood stem cells (PBSC)
Will my family have expenses related to my organ donation?
No! Expenses for organ donations are the responsibility of the recipient. Your family’s costs are limited to your medical care prior to death, and funeral expenses.
April is National Donate Life Month. More than 100 million people in the U.S. are signed up to be a donor — won’t you join us?
Photo: YouTube Video: Alonzo Mourning on Organ Donation, via organdonor.gov