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Organ Donation

September 3rd, 2015

Organ Donation

Organ Donation

Millions of people in the world are in need for one organ or another. In the US alone, over 123,000 people need an organ, with the addition of one person to the list every 12 minutes. Unfortunately, over 6,500 people die annually for want of an organ. Most of the organ donations come from deceased persons, who had expressed their desire to donate their organ(s) while they were alive.

Who Can Donate?

Anyone can become an organ donor, though those under-18 years of age require consent of their parent or guardian for organ donation. It is better to inform the transplant team know of any health conditions affecting you before donating an organ.

After death, a medical assessment is done on the donor to determine the condition of all organs. This helps the medical team determine which organs can be donated. Anyone suffering from cancer, HIV, kidney disease, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, or severe infection may not be able to donate an organ.

Organ transplant is easier in the case of the donor and recipient being a good match in terms of blood and tissue type. The transplant team performs a number of tests on the donor and recipient to determine if they are a good match.

What Organs Can You Donate?

Donated organs are given to someone who has damaged organs that need replacement or transplant. You can donate any of the following organs:

  • SkinRenal Transplant Image
  • Cornea
  • Bone
  • Bone marrow
  • Heart valves
  • Liver
  • Kidney
  • Lungs, pancreas, intestine
  • Cartilage
  • Tendons

Types of Organ Donation

For organ recipients, a transplant could well mean a second life! An organ transplant can help the suffering person return to normal life.

  • Donation after circulatory death – In the event a person dies in a hospital when they weren’t on a ventilator, their kidneys and other organs can be donated. However, the organs must be removed within minutes after the heart stops beating to prevent the organs from damage from a lack of oxygen.
  • Donation after brain stem death – The majority of people who donate organs are those that die from severe head injury or hemorrhage, brain stroke. Patients that are on ventilator can donate lungs, liver, and heart.
  • Living organ donation – A living donor can donate one of their kidneys or part of their liver to a recipient. Primarily, this is more common with family members, wherein one healthy relative donates one of their kidneys to the suffering relative, friend, or kids.

The biggest benefit of organ donation is that you are saving someone’s life. However, organ removal and transplant involves a major surgical procedure, which can cause you physical pain and discomfort during the recovery period. But the amount of satisfaction that one gets from saving one’s life does not have a match! Certainly this can speed up your recovery!

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