Around 114,000 patients in the US are waiting for a life-saving organ transplant, and every 10 minutes, another name is added to the list. It is surprising to know that many people are still not aware of organ donation, and how that one step of kindness can save lives of many after their death. Which tissue donations are most needed? How to talk to your family members? Below are answers to some of the common questions about organ donation.
- Which organs and tissues are most needed?
Kidneys and liver remain the most needed organs among patients, while corneal tissue tops the list of tissues. Every year, hundreds of patients die because they couldn’t find a donor in time. Other organs and tissues required include bone marrow, small intestine, heart, lungs, and skin.
- How to organ & tissue donation with your family?
Your family deserves to know of your wish to donate organs and tissues, and if they are averse to the idea, take your time to explain the cause. One healthy individual can save as many as 8 lives after death, and that’s no small feat.
- Is there an age limit to become an organ donor? How to become an organ donor?
No, you can choose to donate your organs at any age. If you have State Driver’s License, you can go to your State Registry and sign up to become an organ donor. You can sign up with the National Registry, if you don’t have a State ID. Once done, your state ID card/driver’s license will have the words written – “Organ Donor”.
- Does religion approve of organ donation?
Yes, all religions, at least all major ones, do approve of organ donation, and it is considered to be an act of kindness and compassion. If you have your doubts, or would want to just get a confirmation, talk to your local religious teacher or advisor.
- “Can I become a living donor?”
Some organs can be donated by healthy individuals. For example, if you are healthy and medically fit, you may donate a part of your liver, or one kidney, to someone you know, or a patient in need of a live-saving transplant. Compatibility is the key factor in such cases, but it is possible to become a living donor.
Organ donation can save lives, and if you haven’t considered signing up as a donor, there is no better time to think.