Organ transplantation is one of the great advances in modern medicine. Unfortunately, the need for organ donors is much greater than the number of people who actually donate. Every day in the United States, 21 people die waiting for an organ and more than 120,048 (www.unos.org, Nov. 1, 2016) men, women, and children await life-saving organ transplants.
How to become an organ donor:
- Join a donor registry. A registry is more than just an expression of interest in becoming a donor. It is a way to legally give consent for the anatomical gift of organs, tissue, and eyes. Each time you go to your local Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV), you will be asked, "do you want to make an anatomical gift?" All you have to do is say "Yes." You can also join the registry at any time by filling out a "Document of Gift" form from the BMV. For more information, go to www.lifebanc.org and click on donor registry. Donor registry information for any state might be obtained from www.donatelife.net.
- Sign and carry an organ donor card. This card can be downloaded at: www.organdonor.gov.
- Let your family members and loved ones know your desire to be a donor.
- You might also want to tell your family healthcare provider, lawyer, and religious leader that you would like to be a donor.
Organs and tissues that can be transplanted include:
- Middle ear
- Bone marrow
- Heart valves
- Connective tissue
- Vascularized composite allografts (transplant of several structures that may include skin, bone, muscles, blood vessels, nerves, and connective tissue)
- U.S. Department of Health & Human Services. Organdonor.gov Accessed 2/21/2017.
- United Network for Organ Sharing. Facts about organ donation Accessed 2/21/2017.
- Donate Life America. Types of Donations Accessed 2/21/2017.
© Copyright 1995-2018 The Cleveland Clinic Foundation. All rights reserved.