You can donate your heart, kidneys, pancreas, lungs, liver and intestines. You can also donate eyes, and tissues such as heart valves, cardiovascular tissue, bone and soft musculoskeletal tissue, and skin.
All people can be considered as being potential organ, tissue and eye donors after death has been declared. However, the presence of active cancer, active HIV, active infection (for example, sepsis) or Intravenous (IV) drug use would absolutely rule out donation. Patients who have Hepatitis C may still donate organs to a patient who also has Hepatitis C. The same is true for Hepatitis B — but this happens less frequently. Most cancer patients may donate corneas.
Yes, nearly 120,000 men, women and children are waiting for organs for transplantation in the United States. Every 10 minutes, a new name is added to the national waiting list for organs. On average, 22 people die every day because of the lack of donated organs.
Without a doubt. Hospital staff members only objective is to save lives. Donation can only occur after physicians who are not in any way affiliated with donation or the transplant recovery teams have declared the death of a patient.
Not necessarily. It’s important not to rule yourself out! Your medical history is more important than your age. For example, individuals who were 92-years-old have donated their livers in the United States.
Success rates for organs average 80 - 90 percent, depending upon type of organ and type of donor (deceased or living). At the end of 2006, the latest year for which data is available, there were 173,339 people in the United States who were living with functioning transplanted organs. An estimated 900,000 allografts (bone or soft tissue transplanted from one person to another) are transplanted each year in the United States. There are more than 42,000 cornea transplants performed in the United States each year. Cornea transplant procedures enjoy a 95% success rate.
The United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS) maintains a national computerized waiting list of transplant candidates. An evaluation of medical compatibility includes size and blood type, medical urgency and location. The patient’s financial background doesn’t determine who receives a transplant.