Friday, March 2, 2012

The Truth About Organ Donation

Organ donation is a subject near and dear to my heart, because I know that one day my life will be saved by an organ donor and I got more time with my dad because my uncle was selfless enough to donate bone marrow.

Let me share with you some interesting facts about organ donation

1) 104,748 U.S. patients are currently waiting for an organ transplant; more than 4,000 new patients are added to the waiting list each month.

2) Every day, 18 people die while waiting for a transplant of a vital organ, such as a heart, liver, kidney, pancreas, lung or bone marrow.

3) Nearly 10 percent of the patients currently waiting for heart transplants are young people under 18 years of age.

4) Acceptable organ donors can range in age from newborn to 65 years or more. People who are 65 years of age or older may be acceptable donors, particularly of corneas, skin, bone and for total body donation.

5) An estimated 12,000 people who die each year meet the criteria for organ donation, but less than half of that number become actual organ donors.

6) By signing a Uniform Donor Card, an individual indicates his or her wish to be a donor. However, at the time of death, the person's next-of-kin will still be asked to sign a consent form for donation. It is important for people who wish to be organ and tissue donors to tell their family about this decision so that their wishes will be honored at the time of death.

7) Donor organs and tissues are removed surgically, and the donor’s body is closed, as in any surgery. There are no outward signs of organ donation and open casket funerals are still possible.

8) Virtually all religious denominations approve of organ and tissue donation as representing the highest humanitarian ideals and the ultimate charitable act.

Myths About Organ Donation

Myth: If I agree to donate my organs, the hospital staff won't work as hard to save my life.
Fact: When you go to the hospital for treatment, doctors focus on saving your life — not somebody else's. You'll be seen by a doctor whose specialty most closely matches your particular emergency. The doctor in charge of your care has nothing to do with transplantation.

Myth: Maybe I won't really be dead when they sign my death certificate.
Fact: Although it's a popular topic in the tabloids, in reality, people don't start to wiggle their toes after they're declared dead. In fact, people who have agreed to organ donation are given more tests (at no charge to their families) to determine that they're truly dead than are those who haven't agreed to organ donation.

Myth: Organ donation is against my religion.
Fact: Organ donation is consistent with the beliefs of most religions. This includes Catholicism, Protestantism, Islam and most branches of Judaism. If you're unsure of or uncomfortable with your faith's position on donation, ask a member of your clergy. Another option is to check the federal Web site, which provides religious views on organ donation and transplantation by denomination.

Myth: I'm under age 18. I'm too young to make this decision.
Fact: That's true, in a legal sense. But your parents can authorize this decision. You can express to your parents your wish to donate, and your parents can give their consent knowing that it's what you wanted. Children, too, are in need of organ transplants, and they usually need organs smaller than those an adult can provide.

Myth: An open-casket funeral isn't an option for people who have donated organs or tissues.
Fact: Organ and tissue donation doesn't interfere with having an open-casket funeral. The donor's body is clothed for burial, so there are no visible signs of organ or tissue donation. For bone donation, a rod is inserted where bone is removed. With skin donation, a very thin layer of skin similar to a sunburn peel is taken from the donor's back. Because the donor is clothed and lying on his or her back in the casket, no one can see any difference.

Myth: I'm too old to donate. Nobody would want my organs.
Fact: There's no defined cutoff age for donating organs. Organs have been successfully transplanted from donors in their 70s and 80s. The decision to use your organs is based on strict medical criteria, not age. Don't disqualify yourself prematurely. Let the doctors decide at your time of death whether your organs and tissues are suitable for transplantation.

Myth: I'm not in the best of health. Nobody would want my organs or tissues.
Fact: Very few medical conditions automatically disqualify you from donating organs. The decision to use an organ is based on strict medical criteria. It may turn out that certain organs are not suitable for transplantation, but other organs and tissues may be fine. Don't disqualify yourself prematurely. Only medical professionals at the time of your death can determine whether your organs are suitable for transplantation.

Myth: I'd like to donate one of my kidneys now, but I wouldn't be allowed to do that unless one of my family members is in need.
Fact: While that used to be the case, it isn't any longer. Whether it's a distant family member, friend or complete stranger you want to help, you can donate a kidney through certain transplant centers. If you decide to become a living donor, you will undergo extensive questioning to ensure that you are aware of the risks and that your decision to donate isn't based on financial gain. You will also undergo testing to determine if your kidneys are in good shape and whether you can live a healthy life with just one kidney.

Myth: Rich and famous people go to the top of the list when they need a donor organ.
Fact: The rich and famous aren't given priority when it comes to allocating organs. It may seem that way because of the amount of publicity generated when celebrities receive a transplant, but they are treated no differently from anyone else. In fact, the United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS), the organization responsible for maintaining the national organ transplant network, subjects all celebrity transplants to an internal audit to make sure the organ allocation was appropriate.

Myth: My family will be charged if I donate my organs.
Fact: The organ donor's family is never charged for donating. The family is charged for the cost of all final efforts to save your life, and those costs are sometimes misinterpreted as costs related to organ donation. Costs for organ removal go to the transplant recipient.

Let me introduce you to 8 kid's whose lives have been affected by organ donation

Organ Donation Saved Their Lives

Averi received her gift of life, a new heart, on 3/20/10

Abby received her gift of life, a new heart, on 7/12/11

Kaiden received his gift of life, a new heart, on 4/15/10

Alexis received her gift of life, a new heart, on 5/29/11

Organ Donors Could Have Saved Their Lives

Pierce 10/16/09 - 1/15/10 Died waiting for a heart

Emma 8/7/09 - 10/17/10 Died waiting for a heart

Kayden 12/21/07 - 7/14/11 Died waiting for heart
Organ Donation Could Save His Life

TK is currently waiting for his gift of life, a new heart.

Now I'm only apart of the heart comunity so I could only find people effected by heart transplantation. But there are countless other kids and adults out there waiting, died waiting, or who have received kidneys, livers, lungs, bone marrow and other transplants.

Sure some people do died even after transplantion. Transplant is not a cure.

Transplantation Gave Them More Time With Their Families

Adam died 4 months after his heart transplant. But because of his new heart, his parents got 4 extra months with him. 4 extra months of memories and love they wouldn't have had otherwise.

Dave, my dad, died a year after his bone marror transplant. But that transplant gave me, my mom, my brother and the rest of our family a extra year of love, and fun, and memories we would have never have had without transplantation.

Organ donation is an extremely selfless thing to do. Your tragedy can be someone else's miracle.
Please consider giving the gift of life. Please consider giving another family more time and memories with their loved ones.

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