“To the world you may be one person, but to one person you may be the world.” (Anonymous) Why should people donate? People should donate organs and blood because one organ can save up to eight lives. That same donor can save or improve up to fifty people’s lives. (Unknown) More than 119,000 people are waiting for transplants each year, and that is just in the U.S. alone. (Unknown) Eighteen people die every day because they are waiting for organs and/or blood transplants. (Unknown) Each year, thousands of people die because of the need for an organ transplant or blood donation. (Unknown) Contrary to popular belief, you don’t have to be dead to be a donor! You can be a living donor! To be a living donor you must be over the age of twenty one, complete an education class called “Donor 101”, and have a Body Mass Index also referred to as “BMI” that is less than thirty. You must also have the transplant approved by a transplant surgeon, and a financial coordinator. (Anonymous) If you meet these qualifications, you should be good, but there are also some things that may disqualify you. For instance, if you have uncontrolled, high blood pressure, diabetes or pre-diabetes, are at a weight that qualifies as being obese, show signs of any cardiac conditions, have any type of cancer, have the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV), are active with intravenous (IV) drugs, or are a male that has been in prison in the past six months.
When it comes to organ and blood donations, patients are put on a waiting list. A new person is added to the list every ten minutes. (Unknown) The factors of being the next one to have a transplant range from how severe the patient is, and how long they have been on the waiting list, down to their blood type. Up to 1,000,000 people need life-saving and life-improving tissues each year; you are never too old to donate! (Unknown) Some people think that if they become an organ donor they will not be able to have an open casket funeral. (staff) This is not true. Organ donation is done so that there is minimal disfigurement to the body. Plus, the body is clothed in the casket so there are typically no visible signs of the transplant or donation.
What can be donated? This is another question frequently asked by people. You are eligible to donate eyes, heart and heart valves, lungs, liver, kidneys, intestines, pancreas, skin, bone, tendons and even femoral and saphenous veins. More than 290 people await hearts, fifty await lungs, 130 await livers, ten await intestines, one hundred await pancreases, and one hundred await both kidneys and pancreases. 8,370 await kidneys alone! Only one kidney is needed to live and sometimes people wait for kidneys anywhere from three to five years. In 2012, we had 315 kidneys donated, 194 livers, sixty four hearts, twenty eight lungs, twenty three pancreases, and four intestines. (Unknown)
A question that is frequently asked is, “How do I make sure my organs get donated?” Put your...