What you need to know about organ donation
Organ transplant is one of the most remarkable success stories in the history of medicine. But despite continuing advances in medicine and technology, the need for organs and tissue is vastly greater than the number available for transplantation.
Transplantation gives hope to thousands of people with organ failure and provides many others with active and renewed lives. Despite continuing efforts at public education, misconceptions and inaccuracies about donation persist.
Learn these facts to help you better understand organ, eye and tissue donation:
- Anyone can be a potential donor regardless of age, race, or medical history.
- All major religions in the United States support organ, eye and tissue donation and see it as the final act of love and generosity toward others.
- If you are sick or injured and admitted to the hospital, the number one priority is to save your life. Organ, eye and tissue donation can only be considered after you are deceased.
- When you are on the waiting list for an organ, what really counts is the severity of your illness, time spent waiting, blood type, and other important medical information, not your financial status or celebrity status.
- An open casket funeral is possible for organ, eye and tissue donors. Through the entire donation process the body is treated with care, respect and dignity.
- There is no cost to the donor or their family for organ or tissue donation.
- Currently, more than 115,000 men, women and children are awaiting organ transplants in the United States. For specific numbers visit unos.org
- 28,535 Organ Transplants Performed in 2011
- 14,144 Organ Donors in 2011
- More than 46,000 corneas were transplanted in 2011
- More than 1 million tissue transplants are done each year and the surgical need for tissue has been steadily rising