Enhancing Lives Through Organ and Tissue DonationAt the end of 1999, there were 1044 residents of Colorado and Wyoming waiting for an organ transplant. Yet there are only 85 to 90 organ donors each year from our region. More than 71,000 Americans are in need of major organs. In addition, thousands more are waiting for some type of tissue transplant for the replacement or repair of diseased or injured tissues.
Organ and Tissue Donation: Most Frequently Asked QuestionsWho can donate organs and tissues?
Almost everyone can be a donor as long as consent is given by next of kin and they are determined to be medically suitable.
What is the age limit for donors?
The age limit for donation is constantly changing. Today anyone who is 80 years or younger will be considered for organ/tissue donation.
What are the steps to becoming a donor?
You simply indicate your desire to be an organ and tissue donor on a signed donor card, driver's license, or other legal document. Most important, discuss this decision with your family so that they know to honor your wish to give the gift of life when the time comes.
If I sign a donor card or driver's license, will my wishes be carried out?
Even if you sign a donor card or driver's license, it is essential that your family knows your wishes. A signed consent for donation is required from the next of kin
What organs and tissues can I donate?
The heart, kidneys, pancreas, lungs, liver, and small intestine are the organs that can be transplanted. Corneas, skin, bone, heart valves, tendons, and ligaments are among the tissues.
If I sign a donor card, will it affect the quality of medical care I receive at the hospital?
Choosing to be a donor will in no way affect the quality of medical care received. Organ and tissue donation is never considered until all efforts to save a person's life have failed and the person is declared dead.
Will donation delay or change any funeral arrangements?
Donation does not usually cause any delay or change of funeral arrangements nor change the appearance of the body. An open casket funeral remains an option.
Are there any religious objections to organ and tissue donation?
No. In fact, most religious faiths endorse donation as a gift of life to fellow human beings. If you have more specific questions, contact your religions advisor.
Are there any costs to my family for donation?
All costs related to donation are paid by Donor Alliance. The donor family pays only for the medical care before death is declared and for funeral expenses.
Do issues such as race or wealth affect the availability of or access to an organ transplant?
The Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network matches donated organs with critically ill patients on the national waiting list. Medical urgency, issues of compatibility such as blood type, tissue match, and body size are considerations in determining who receives a transplant. Race or wealth are never issues, and buying or selling organs is against the law.
Can I be an organ and tissue donor and also donate my body to medical science?
If you are an organ donor, medical schools generally will not accept whole body donation. Whole body donations must be arranged with the medical school of your choice prior to your death.
Are You an Organ and Tissue Donor?
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