We all know that February 14th is Valentine’s Day, but the hearts that you see everywhere are a perfect reminder that it is also National Donor Day. This day was established to raise awareness of the benefits of eye, tissue, and organ donation. It also serves to remind everyone of the importance of discussing this topic with their loved ones and how to become an organ donor.
What Does It Mean to Become a Donor?
Signing up to become an organ donor simply means that you’ve made the decision to donate your eyes, tissue, and organs at the time of your death. According to Donor Alliance, there are nearly 120,000 people nationwide waiting for transplants, and your generous gift could potentially remove several people from that list.
What Exactly is Tissue and Organ Donation?
The process of donation involves the removal of tissue and organs from one person, often a deceased person, and transplanting them into others in need. Up to eight people can be saved through one person’s donation of their organs and more than seventy-five can be saved or healed through their tissue donation. Approximately 500,000 lives a year are saved in the United States through tissue and organ donation.
What Types of Organs and Tissues Can Be Transplanted?
Organs that can be transplanted include your heart, kidneys, lungs, pancreas, and the small intestine. The tissue category consists of bone, corneas, heart valves, veins, skin, tendons, and ligaments. And remember, you don’t have to die to become a donor. Many people have donated kidneys or part of the liver or lung to save others’ lives.
Are There Things that Can Prevent Me from Donating?
There are myths about organ donation that involve age and illness as factors that may prevent one from registering to become a donor. The truth is that every individual’s medical condition is evaluated at the time of death to determine the viability of their organs and tissues for transplant. Even people with chronic diseases or a history of cancer are encouraged to register.
Why Do I Need to Discuss Organ Donation with My Loved Ones?
Your decision to become an organ and tissue donor takes priority over your family’s preferences at the time of your death. That is why it is so important for everybody to be on the same page. If you are an eligible donor, your family will be informed of your decision at the time of your death, and they will be asked to provide information about your medical and behavioral history. Knowing that you have made this decision in advance will make your loved ones feel more prepared and confident when they are presented with the details of the donation process.
How Do I Become a Donor?
Once you’ve made the life-saving decision to become an organ and tissue donor, you can register in person at your local Department of Motor Vehicles or go to organdonor.gov and register online. The next time you look at your driver’s license, the little heart will be a reminder that you chose to make a difference and leave a legacy of caring.
Did You Learn Something New About Organ Donation?
We hope you’ve found some helpful information here about organ donation. Live in the center of it all in Waldorf, MD. At Center Pointe, we love providing our residents with helpful information to help them manage their busy lives. Our residents have easy access to shopping, entertainment, and great schools. Reach out to us today to schedule a tour and see why we are a Top Rated apartment community on ApartmentRatings!