Why You Should Become an Organ Donor
Almost everyone would want to be able to say “I have saved a life.” But by becoming an organ donor, you will be able to say “I WILL save a life.” Organ donation is a selfless way of giving back to others and being able to make a huge difference by giving another person a second chance at life. Unfortunately the number of patients waiting for organs far exceeds the number of people who have registered to become donors. Patients are forced to wait months, even years for a match, and far too many pass before they’re provided with a suitable organ. There are many stigmas related to donation, most being false, and in order to be well informed, you must know what organ donation is, how it works as well as how you can become a donor and what organs or tissues you can donate. Becoming an organ donor after death is not only an important decision for yourself, but it’s also an important decision for the life you have the power to save.
Organ donation takes the healthy organs and tissues from one person for transplantation into another. Organs you can donate include: kidneys, heart, liver, pancreas, intestines, lungs, skin, bone, bone marrow, and cornea. For patients who need a kidney or a liver, a living donor’s organs can be utilized, since we’re already born with an extra kidney and the liver is regenerative. However, if the patient needs a heart, lung, pancreas, or cornea, the organ needs to come from a deceased donor. If the patient consents to an organ transplant, doctors put the patients name on a list by the United Network for Organ Sharing, or UNOS. UNOS has a database with all transplant patients awaiting organs and information on all organ transplant centers around the country, and the board of directors, which is made of transplant doctors, establishes policies that decide who will get which organs. Acceptable donors are those who are brain dead but still on life support. A match is made when both the donor and recipient...
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