The need for a life-saving transplanted organ is a true need for tens of thousands of people in the United States.

A new person is added to the organ transplant waiting list every 10 minutes. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there are about 100,000 people on the active waiting list for organs. The number in need changes every day, but those requiring a transplant continue to increase faster than available donors. The CDC states that living donors provide on average around 6,000 organs per year.

For those who are interested in giving the gift of life to others, here are 10 facts about organ donation:

  • All adults can sign up to be organ donors, according to the U.S. Government Information on Organ Donation and Transplantation. “Whether someone is suitable for donation is determined at the time of death.”
  • Newborns to seniors can donate. The ability to donate depends on the condition of the organs.
  • Some people with medical conditions are still able to donate depending on the condition of particular organs. “Even if there’s only one organ or tissue that can be used, that’s one life saved or improved,” according to OrganDonor.gov.
  • People can also donate their entire body to science. You would need to make arrangements ahead of time with the specific entity, whether it is a medical school, research facility or other agency.
  • Adults and, in some states, people under 18 can register as donors in their state.
  • There is no cost to your family if you donate.
  • The organs and tissues that can be donated include the heart, kidneys, pancreas, lungs, liver, intestines, hands, face, cornea, skin, heart valves, bone, blood vessels, connective tissue, bone  marrow and stem cells, and umbilical cord blood.
  • A majority of organ and tissue donations are after death, but there are about 6,000 living donations annually. This often occurs among family members, although “some people become altruistic living donors by choosing to donate to someone they don’t know.”
  • Living donations can include one of two kidneys, one of two lobes of the liver, a lung or part of a lung, part of the pancreas, or part of the intestines.
  • Some living tissue donations include skin, bone, healthy cells and blood.

Whether the donation is living or after someone has died, this is a very personal decision and people are encouraged to make an educated choice, one that could extend the life of a loved one or stranger.

For more information on living kidney donation, please contact UofL Health – Trager Transplant Center at 502-587-4358, option 5 or 800-866-7539, option 5.

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Article by: UofL Health

UofL Health is a fully integrated regional academic health system with seven hospitals, four medical centers, nearly 200 physician practice locations and more than 1,000 providers in Louisville and the surrounding counties, including southern Indiana, with additional access to UofL Health through a partnership with Carroll County Memorial Hospital. With more than 12,000 team members – physicians, surgeons, nurses, pharmacists and other highly skilled health care professionals, UofL Health is focused on one mission—one purpose—delivering patient-centered care to each and every patient—each and every day.

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