When you went to get your state ID or license you were likely asked if you wanted to become an organ donor. Many people decide not to become an organ donor because they don’t understand what it is, how it works, or how many people they could potentially save. February is home to National Donor Day, and we want to use that opportunity to help educate you about the importance of organ donation!
Why Does Organ Donation Matter?
Organ donation is important to the lives of many people in the United States. In fact, a shocking 150,000 people are currently on a waitlist for organ donation. These people are left waiting until an organ donor becomes available that is compatible with them. For many, that donation doesn’t come soon enough to save their life. One organ donor can save the lives of up to 50 individuals waiting for a donor. Even if all of your organs aren’t able to be donated, you’re sure to save more than one person in need.
What Can Be Donated?
The organs able to be donated from each organ donor will vary slightly. It depends on the health of the organs and how soon they’re ready to be harvested. The organ donation categories can be broken down into 4 sections.
• Internal – this includes heart, liver, lungs, kidneys, intestines, and any other major internal organ.
• Skin – skin can be used for skin grafting to help burn patients heal and recover.
• Bone and bone marrow
Blood and blood plasma are also able to be donated, but these are typically given by individuals who are still living. After an organ donor dies, the usable organs are harvested from their body. The waitlist of patients in need is then contacted based on need, compatibility, and location about the donor. Once a match is found, the person in need receives the organ donation. It’s that simple to save a life!
How Can I Become a Donor?
Becoming a donor is a quick and easy process. Just visit organdonor.gov to sign up today. You can also register when you renew your state issues ID or license. After becoming a donor, you will be able to begin saving lives when yours ends instantly. Ask your friends and family members if they’re registered as an organ donor too! National Donor Day is all about spreading awareness and getting people involved.