Organ donation is the taking of healthy tissues and organ from a living or dead person to a living recipient in need of a transplantation. There are processes involved in organ donation from the moment someone decides to be an organ donor to the time the organ is transplanted into another person. A nurse’s role in this process is crucial in many ways and for many people (the medical team, the donor/donor’s family, the recipient). According to the U.S. department of health and human services, 117,376 people are waiting for an organ, 18 people will die each day waiting for an organ, and 1 organ donor can save up to 8 lives. The supply and demand for organs is disproportionate. There are many reasons behind this shortage and they include knowledge and attitudes of health professionals, processes for donor identification, timing of the request for organ donation, refusal of family members to consent to donation, and cultural considerations that influence the willingness to donate. Also, organ donation is an option in less than 1 percent of deaths because brain death, the irreversible cessation of all brain function, must occur in order for a hospital to allow most organ transplants. When discussing donations, many people think of organs. However, tissue donation also has a major impact on the lives of many recipients. Some examples are: donated corneas can restore vision, veins and arteries can restore circulation and are used in coronary artery bypass graft surgery, defective valves are replaced with healthy heart valves, bone is used for knee and hip replacement; connective tissue is used to repair joints, and even the skin is used for patients with severe burns. Tissue donation provides recipients life enhancing benefits.
Living donation is also an option. People who are healthy and without any complications can donate their organs and even choose whom they want to donate their organs to. The organs that can be procured from a living donor are a lobe...
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