Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Thursday Thirteen #5: Organ Donation

I recently heard about organ donation in the news and wanted to pipe in for this cause.
  1. A Dutch television network said that it would broadcast a "reality" show featuring three patients competing for a kidney to be donated by a terminally ill woman, but it turned out to be a hoax to promote awareness of organ donation and the lack of organ donors. It did encourage tens of thousands of people in the Netherlands to sign up.
  2. In the United States, the waiting list for organ donation is nearly 97,000 people. Many will die without receiving one. That is one death every 90 minutes.
  3. Organs that can be donated include: the heart, intestines, kidneys, lungs, liver, pancreas, skin, bone and bone marrow, cornea.
  4. Once removed from a body, a kidney has a 72-hour window before it needs to be transplanted into a patient.
  5. Organ donations from dead donors far outweigh donations by living ones. Organs that can be donated from living donors include the lung, partial liver or pancreas and the kidney.
  6. A 2005 Gallup poll revealed that more than half the population of the United States was willing to donate organs after death. However, fewer than two out of 10 families opt to donate organs of relatives after death. Relatives can still dissent even in the presence of evidence of explicit consent by the potential organ donor.
  7. The percentage of individuals in the United States who have granted permission to donate their organs or tissues reached 53 percent in 2005, almost double the 28 percent in 1993.
  8. "Presumed consent" has been adopted in France, Spain, Australia, Belgium and Portugal, although no country mandates that organs must be donated.
  9. The Spanish transplant system is one of the most successful in the world, but it still can't meet the demand, as 10% of those needing a transplant die waiting for one.
  10. There has been a ban for organ trafficking in India since 1994, although the practice continues.
  11. This is an excellent site that dispels myths about organ donations.
  12. I've been an organ donor as long as I've had a driver's license and my family is well aware of my intentions.
  13. Become an organ donor and tell you family about it! Here is information on how to register to be a donor in your state.
Sources: Wikipedia, Wired, IHT, NIH, HSRA


Di said...

"organ donation in the news and wanted to pipe in for this cause"
I must know...was the "organ" and "pipe" usage an intentional pun? Very good one!

Unknown said...

What an educational post..I have several patients (Im peds nurse) waiting for organs so I really liked this list

Anonymous said...

Good post. We do need to educate people about organ donation. I especially liked that you posted a link about myths surrounding organ donation. I haven't visited it yet, though. I will later, after my clinic hours :-)

DigiscrapMom said...

I have told my family and friends that I'm up for being an organ donor. I really think that it's a noble thing to do.

Happy Thursday!

Special K ~Toni said...

Wow! Opens your eyes! Mine is up at Being An Air Force Wife

Bigqueue said...

Very nice post.....and good for people to read and grasp. Let me say that there are also other reasons that the dead do not always get their organ donation wish granted.

One being that there may be a strong need for an autopsy, and so I suspect it might be very bad to removed an organ...particularly if there is a question regarding the death and/or perhaps the health of that organ.

Second, it is sometimes not clear how long a person has been dead. As you noted, it is vital that the organ get to the person in need fairly quickly, and since the procedure (operation) is never simple, that time is very short.

So while my mother, father and wife all had organ donation wishes clearly indicated and well known to me....sadly, none of those wishes were able to be fulfilled.

Anonymous said...

Great post! I've always said that when I'm gone, use whatever's left to help others!

Crimson Wife said...

One of my dad's cousins, who is like a sister to him, lost her husband because of a shortage of organ donations. He needed a heart transplant but died while on the waiting list :-( Thank you for raising the awareness of this important issue!

-Scott (Campaign Manager) said...

Great post Angela. It's great to see a continuing increase in conversation on this crucial topic. I would add that many state's have now initiated first-person consent registries to replace "donor intent" registries that previously required additional family consent for you to be a donor. As you mention in your post, many eligible donors have their decisions overturned by family members or loved ones due to the emotional grief of the moment. First person consent registries are key to helping save thousands of more lives each year and ensuring your wishes to be a donor are carried out.

I encourage any Illinois residents to check out our Donate Life Illinois campaign at and make sure you re-register in the state's new donor consent registry.

Thanks again for helping spread the word on organ donation!

Donate Life Illinois - Campaign Manager