Have questions about how the miracle of donation and transplantation actually works? That’s ok. It’s a complex process designed to provide donors with the utmost respect and care and to ensure the gifts of donors save as many lives as possible. Take a look at some of the most frequently asked questions below. Want more info on how the process works? Click here for everything you need to know.
What can be donated?
An organ donor can save the lives of up to eight people by giving their heart, lungs, kidneys, liver, small intestine, and pancreas. A tissue donor can save and heal more than 50 lives through the donation of skin, cartilage, corneas, fascia, heart valves, and veins.
Am I too old to be a donor?
Never rule yourself out! Everyone may be considered for organ and tissue donation regardless of age. In every case, medical suitability is determined at the time of death. The oldest organ donor on record was 94!
If the hospital knows I want to be a donor, will the doctors still try to save my life?
Absolutely. Medical professionals' only goal is to save your life. Additionally, medical professionals do not have access to your registration status on the Ohio Donor Registry. Only organ procurement organizations, like Lifebanc, can access that information. Organ and tissue donation takes place only after all efforts to save your life have failed and your family has been consulted.
Are there any religious objections to donation?
All major religions in the United States support organ, eye and tissue donation and view it as a final act of love and generosity toward others.
If I have a designation on my driver’s license, why should I still discuss organ and tissue donation with my family?
Everyone should talk to their family about their decision to be a registered organ, eye and tissue donor. Informing your family of your decision will ensure that they know your wishes to save and heal lives are being honored.
Will being a donor add expenses to my medical or funeral bills?
Donation costs nothing to the donor's family or estate. Lifebanc or the organ procurement organization of the region is responsible for all costs related to the donation process. Medical treatments prior to the declaration of death, funeral costs, memorial services or burial plans remain the family's responsibility.
Will donation affect my funeral arrangements?
Highly-trained medical professionals recover organs and tissue by way of a surgical procedure that is performed in a respectful manner. In most cases, traditional funeral practices - including open-casket viewing - may follow the donation process. Lifebanc also works closely with the families of donors on special requests that involve the care of their loved one.
Can celebrities or wealthy people use their money and influence to buy an organ or be placed at the top of the waiting list?
No! The lists for those waiting for an organ are heavily regulated and managed by the United Network for Organ Sharing. Identifying information about donors and recipients is not shared between organ procurement organizations and transplant centers. Matching for available organs is done by a formula that includes clinical information (blood type, antigens, organ size, etc.), the severity of a potential recipient's condition, and the distance between a donor and recipient.
Will my family know the identity of the organ recipient(s)?
The identities of the donor and the recipient(s) remain confidential. The donor family may opt to receive a letter that confirms the success of transplantation(s) and includes some general information about each recipient. If donor families or recipients have questions about the communication process, please contact the Lifebanc Bereavement Services Coordinator at 216-820-4805 or firstname.lastname@example.org.