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Organ Donation: It’s all about LIFE. Approximately 102 people are added to the National Organ Donation list each day. Donation Statistics More than 73,000 men, women, and children currently await life-saving transplants. Every 14 minutes another name is added to the national transplant waiting list. An average of 16 people die each day from the lack of available organs for transplant. Your Wishes Count At this time, there is no national registry of organ and tissue donors. Even if you have documented your wishes, be sure you have told your family you want to donate LIFE. Organs That Can Be Donated Heart Kidneys Pancreas Lungs Liver Intestines Bone Marrow Tissues That Can Be Donated Eyes Skin Bone Heart Valves Tendons Myths Regarding Organ Donation Myth: People are abducted and their organs are removed and sold. Fact: There is no black market for organs in the United States. It is illegal to buy and sell organs in the United States. The National Organ Transplant Act (Public Law 98-507) prohibits the sale of human organs. Due to the complex system of transplantation, piracy is practically impossible. The process of matching donors with recipients and the need for highly skilled medical professionals to perform the surgery make it impossible complete in secret. Myth: You can sell your organs. Fact: It is illegal to sell your organs in the United States. This offense is punishable by a fine and imprisonment. The National Organ Transplant Act (Public Law 98-507) prohibits the buying and selling of organs. Myth: There are age limits on donation. Fact: There is no age limit on who can donate. Myth: Donation will mutilate my body. Fact: Donated organs are removed surgically in a routine operation similar to gallbladder or appendix removal. Donation doesn’t disfigure the body or change the way it looks in a casket. Myth: My family will be charged for donating my organs. Fact: Donations costs nothing to the donor’s family or estate. Myth: If I am in an accident and the hospital knows that I want to be a donor, the doctors will not try to save my life. Fact: Organ and tissue recovery takes place only after all efforts to save your life have been exhausted and death has been legally declared. The medical team treating you is completely separate From the transplant team. The organ procurement organization (OPO) is not notified until all lifesaving efforts have failed and death has been determined. The OPO does not notify the transplant team until your family has consented to donation. Myth: My religion does not support donation. Fact: Most major religions in the U.S. approve of organ and tissue donation and consider it an act of charity. Myth: I have a history of medical illness. You would not want my organs or tissues. Fact: At the time of death, the appropriate medical professionals will review your medical and social histories to determine whether or not you can be a donor. With recent advances in transplantation, many more people than ever before can be donors. It’s best to sign a donor card and tell your family your wishes. Every day more that 12 people who are on the UNOS National Transplant Waiting List die for lack of an organ. Most people who receive “The Gift of Life” are living productive lives more than 5 years after their transplant surgery.
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