Organ Donation Facts

organ donor facts

Each day, people enter hospitals in dire need of organ transplants. These people need more than medication or surgery to recover from their conditions – they require organ transplants to survive. With the demand for organs so high, many people often do not receive the transplants they need. We rely on registered organ donors to save patients’ lives every day.  

Read on for more facts about organ donors. 

Facts About Organ Donation

If you’re considering organ donation, there are some things you’ll want to know about the process. 

First: all organ and tissue donors are willing donors. For those under the age of 18, parental consent is a requirement. The primary determinant is whether the donor and the recipient are a medical match, including matching in size, tissue type, and blood type.

Many Organ Donors Are Living Donors

There are not enough end-of-life organ donors, so living donors help save lives. Patients rely on the Michigan organ donor program, but there are many cases where donations come from living donors. In fact, 16% of organ transplants come from living donors. There are many ways to contribute to those in need while alive, such as by donating: 

  • A kidney: A person is able to live a long and healthy life with just one kidney. Since the human body has two, donating one can help save a life
  • A liver lobe: The liver is a fascinating organ because it can regrow. Donors are able to donate parts of their liver to others and the donor’s liver will grow back to its original size. The recipient’s new liver will also grow to full size.

Patients Rely on Tissue Donation

Tissue donation can also help people live healthier, more active lives. Every form of tissue donation directly impacts the recipient’s life and well-being for the better. Transplanted tissues help repair and heal bodily defects and injuries, such as restoring sight and movement. For instance, people who receive cornea implants recover sight that was lost or limited due to trauma and other causes of corneal blindness. Donated tissue can also help people recover from surgical procedures and sports-related injuries. Aside from enjoying a vastly improved quality of life, tissue donations also remove the burden associated with the cost of ongoing medical treatment. 

The tissues one can donate while alive include:

  • Blood: This is one of the easiest ways to donate and help others. Patients rely on platelets and red and white blood cells, especially trauma victims.
  • Bone marrow: A necessary donation for those battling leukemia and other forms of cancer, as well as sickle cell anemia.
  • Skin: After surgery that removes excess skin, including a tummy tuck.
  • Bone and tendon: The bone can be obtained after hip and knee replacement surgery. These go towards tumor, infection, or trauma patients and help save limbs from amputation.
  • Heart valves, veins, and arteries: Valves, especially when implanted in young patients, help prevent further surgeries while enabling proper heart function. Veins and arteries assist patients with coronary defects, diabetes, and other conditions causing reduced blood flow, to restore circulation.
  • Birth Tissues: Newborn babies can donate their placentas and umbilical cords to help heal wounds and provide life-saving stem cell transplants.

Everyone Should Consider Organ Donation

Everyone and anyone should consider becoming an organ donor. There are no restrictions and no limits on who can join the Donor Registry.

Sometimes, the health conditions our bodies endure may render organs in the body non-functional. An organ donation can quite literally be the difference between life and death for people experiencing end-stage organ failure. More than 100,000 people are currently on the organ waitlist, with only 6,000 people able to donate organs every year and, unfortunately, 17 people on the waitlist die every day while awaiting organ transplants.

Being a registered organ donor doesn’t affect the medical care you receive. The utmost priority for medical personnel is to save your life, and every effort is made to save your life. Only after doctors – who are not involved in the organ and tissue donation process – determine that a patient is deceased can organ and tissue donation occur.

There are no special requirements for you to sign up to become an organ donor. Everyone can sign up to be an organ donor, regardless of age, health history, or religion. The only thing necessary is your willingness to help and register as an organ donor

We Rely on Organ Donors

We all rely on organ donors every day to help save lives. The most crucial reason to register as an organ donor is the hope you will bring to the lives of people in dire need of organ transplants. Though they may never know or meet you, you will immensely change the course of their lives for the better. 

Donations are necessary, especially for the people that need organ and tissue transplants to help them recover from their severe conditions. You can singularly save eight lives while enhancing the quality of life for 75 other people. 

  • Your two kidneys free up patients from the inconvenience and labor of dialysis
  • The lungs can give two other patients a reprieve from chronic disease, medication, and hospital visits.
  • A heart and pancreas denote two other patients you’ve taken off the transplant list.
  • Corneas will improve the quality of life for someone who has lost their vision.

About 106,000 Americans are currently on the transplant waiting list looking to organ donation as their only medical option. Of the people on the list, 17 will pass away today due to their medical condition and not receiving the organ that would save their lives. By registering as an organ donor, you give them hope and increase the likelihood of their survival. 

Give the Gift of Life

Your decision to donate is a powerful gesture that will save and ease the lives of many people in need. If you’d like to understand donation and its impact, Gift of Life Michigan is here to guide you through the donation process.  Learn what it takes to give the Gift of Life and sign up today on the Michigan Organ Donor Registry.  

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