Becoming an organ donor may be one of the most important things you ever do (for someone else).
When it comes to organ donation, I feel like there is a lot of misinformation out there, and a lot of questions that probably stop people from checking that dubious ‘organ donor’ box on their drivers license applications.
In the United States alone there are over 120,000 people on waiting lists for life-saving organ transplants, and 21 people on these lists die every day. Many people believe that if they are organ donors, doctors might not take the necessary steps needed to save them in an emergency situation, but that belief has no real basis in reality.
A doctor’s purpose is always to save a life, starting with yours. Anyone over the age of 18 can become an organ donor by simply checking a box on their driver’s license application, and anyone under 18 can become one by getting a parent or guardian’s consent.
In the event of your death, your vital organs could be used to help someone else live a long, happy life. That is why organ donation is important. To clear up some of the other misinformation out there about the topic, here are five facts about organ donation that you should probably know:
The easiest way to become an organ donor is to indicate your wishes at the DMV. You should also share this decision with your family members and primary care physician.
Many organs and tissues are suitable for donation such as the heart, lungs, pancreas, kidneys, intestines, corneas, skin tissue, heart valves, bone marrow, stem cells, and blood vessels.
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Living donation is when you donate your organs while still alive, which is only possible for kidneys, lung lobes, and partial liver, pancreas, or intestine transplants.
Despite what you may think, there is no age cap for organ donation. Many organ donors have been over the age of 80. The only real prerequisite is that the organs or tissue are healthy.
There are 52 donation registries in this country. If you are interested in registering for organ donation but hate the idea of getting within 20 feet of any DMV, Donate Life America is a non-profit company that is committed to increasing organ donations across all 50 states. It’s a great place to start if you want more information.