Organ Donation FAQs and Facts #gift #aid

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Organ Donation FAQs

Who can become an organ donor?

All adults in the U.S. and in some states people under the age of 18 can indicate their commitment to donation by signing up to be an organ donor. Whether someone is suitable for donation is determined at the time of death. Authorization by a parent or guardian is generally necessary for individuals under 18 who have died to become an actual donor. Learn more about who can donate

Are there age limits for donating your organs?

There are no age limitations on who can donate. Newborns as well as senior citizens have been organ donors. Whether or not you can donate depends on your physical condition and the condition of your organs, not age.

Can non-residents donate and receive organs in the U.S.?

Non-resident aliens—people who don’t live in the U.S. or aren’t citizens—can donate and receive organs in the United States. Organs are given to patients according to medical need, not citizenship.

However, only about 1 in 100 people who receive transplants are non U.S. residents.

If I have a medical condition, can I still donate?

Don’t rule yourself out from being an organ donor because you have a health condition. You’re always encouraged to register. There are very few conditions that would prevent someone from being an organ, eye, or tissue donor—such as HIV infection, active cancer, or a systemic infection. Even with an illness, you may be able to donate your organs or tissues.

The transplant team will determine what can be used at the time of your death based on a clinical evaluation, medical history and other factors. Even if there’s only one organ or tissue that can be used, that’s one life saved or improved.

Can I be an organ and tissue donor, and also donate my body to medical science?

Total body donation generally is not an option if you choose to be an organ and tissue donor. However eye donors still may be accepted. There are also a few medical schools and research organizations that may accept an organ donor for research.

If you wish to donate your entire body, you should contact the medical organization of your choice directly and make arrangements. Medical schools, research facilities, and other agencies study bodies to understand how disease affects human beings. This research is vital to saving and improving lives.

How many people are currently waiting for organs?

The number of patients waiting for organs varies every day, but on average, the number is well over 120,000 and climbing. Every 10 minutes, another person is added to the waiting list.

The number of patients now on the waiting list and other data are available on the Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network website. The number of people requiring a lifesaving transplant continues to rise faster than the number of available donors. Approximately 300 new transplant candidates are added to the waiting list each month.

Why do minorities have a higher need for transplants?

More than half of all people on the transplant waiting list are from a racial or ethnic minority group. That is because some diseases that cause end-stage organ failure are more common in these populations than in the general population.

For example, African Americans, Asians, Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders, and Hispanics/Latinos are 3 times more likely than Whites to suffer from end-stage renal (kidney) disease, often as the result of high blood pressure.

Native Americans are 4 times more likely than Whites to suffer from diabetes. An organ transplant is sometimes the best—or only—option for saving a life. U.S. Government Information on Organ Donation and Transplantation

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