Currently more than 116,000 people in the United States are waiting for organ transplants, with more than 1,800 of those individuals right here in NE Ohio. Every 10 minutes a new name is added to the national waiting list.
On average, 18 people in the U.S. will die today because an organ isn't available in time. One organ donor can save eight lives, while one tissue donor can enhance the lives of more than 50 people.
Lifebanc has assembled several commonly asked questions about organ and tissue donation. If you do not see the answer to your question, ask an expert now.
Never rule yourself out. Newborns and older may be considered for organ and tissue donation. In all cases, medical suitability is determined at the time of death.
Your medical condition and manner of death may affect what can be donated. The Gifts of Donation are as follows:
Organs: heart, kidneys, liver, lungs, pancreas and small intestineTissue: bone, connective tissue (ligaments and tendons), corneas (eyes), heart valves, skin and veins/vessels
If one person donated all possible organs and tissue, it could help 50 or more people in need of a life-saving or life-enhancing transplant.
All major religions in the United States support organ, eye and tissue donation and view it as the final act of love and generosity toward others.
In Ohio, your decision to be a registered organ and tissue donor makes your donor designation legally binding. However, you are encouraged to inform your loved ones about your end-of-life wishes so that when the inevitable happens, the discussion about donation is easier for your family. Many donor families have reported that, for them, donation has given some meaning to their loss.
Yes. Organ and tissue donation takes place only after all efforts to save your life have failed, you've been declared dead and your family has been consulted.
Donation costs nothing to the donor's family or estate. After a patient has been declared dead and if donation is to take place, Lifebanc or the organ procurement organization of the region is responsible for all costs related to the donation process. Medical treatment prior to the declaration of death, funeral costs, memorial services or burial plans remain the family's responsibility.
Highly trained medical professionals remove organs and tissue through a surgical procedure performed in a respectful manner. In most cases, traditional funeral practices - including open-casket viewing-may follow if the family desires.
Race, age, religion, income and celebrity status are not considered when determining who receives an organ. Also, it is a federal crime to buy or sell organs in the United States. Donor organs are matched to potential recipients for tissue type, size, medical urgency, time on waiting list and geographic location through a UNOS-operated national computerized waiting list.
The identities of the donor and the recipient(s) remain confidential. The donor family receives a letter that confirms the transplant(s) and includes some information about each recipient. Recipients and donor families may communicate with each other through a Lifebanc Bereavement Coordinator at (888) 558-5433 or (216) 753-5433.