Organ donation offers an invaluable, life-saving opportunity for those that are facing fatal health risks. The demand for organ donors is expanding. In 2020, there have been over 25,500 total (deceased and living) lifesaving organ transplants performed. And in 2019, there was a record-breaking 7,397 transplants from living donors.
The United States has the most powerful performing organ donation and transplant network around the globe. Surgeons are operating 40% more transplants than they did less than a decade ago. Despite being in a pandemic, the transplant system has successfully performed 500 additional transplants from deceased donors (January 2020 – July 2020) than it did during the same time frame in 2019.
So why should you consider becoming an organ donor? Here are our top 7 reasons.
1. The Waiting List Continues to Grow
On a daily basis, there are approximately 124,000 people on the waiting list, and an estimated 10 more people are added to the list everyday.
2. Organ Donation’s Impact on Others
Organ donation directly impacts more than just the donors and their recipients. It also affects loved ones, including immediate family, friends, and coworkers. They too will reap the rewards from the patient’s improved health post-transplant.
3. You Can Save Multiple Lives
As an organ donor, you can personally support several people. A single donor has the potential to save up to eight lives, enhance as many as 60 lives, and improve the ability to see for up to two people.
4. Virginia Needs More Organ Donors
Your own state needs more organ donors. In Virginia there are approximately 2,400 residents waiting for an organ to become available. However, only 60% of Virginia’s population has registered to become a donor.
5. People are Facing Fatal Risks
People are dying while anxiously anticipating an organ donation. Approximately 22 people pass away everyday, or 8,000 annually waiting for an organ match. Ninety-five percent of Americans claim that they are in favor of organ donations, but only 54% have registered to be a donor. The need for organ donors continues to climb because end-stage organ failure cases keep rising. Advancements in technology have also given more people a chance to be a transplant candidate.
6. Becoming a Donor is Easy
Becoming a donor is straightforward. When renewing your driver’s license, indicate via the opt-in box that you would like to be a donor. Or, you can register here for your state. One of the most significant challenges regarding organ donation is getting people to register prior to facing a catastrophic situation. If someone has not registered, or discussed their wishes with their family ahead of a tragedy, it can be incredibly hard for family members.
If you’re over the age of 18, you can register to become an organ donor. You can even decide what you’d like to donate — organs, eyes, tissue, or all of the above. That preference can be updated or edited at any time. If you’re under the age of 18 you can register, but your family will still make the final call regarding the donation of your organs.
7. Organ Donation is Rewarding
Organ donation is known to be a rewarding and fulfilling experience. Your selflessness and legacy are a catalyst to help heartbroken families deal with their loss. Being an organ grants you the ability to improve and save lives for years to come.
What Organs Can Be Transplanted?
At the time of death, your medical condition will dictate which organs and tissue can be donated. The possibilities include:
- Tissues such as valves, skin, bone & tendons
- Hands & face
- Stem cells, cord blood & bone marrow
- Blood & platelets
Be sure to check out our latest blog post about the future of organ transplants, thanks to innovative science.