There are currently over 119,000 people in the United States waiting for transplants, but only about 31,000 transplants are performed each year. The waiting list for organ transplants continues to grow, but the number of donors and transplants is growing at a slower rate, leading to 22 people dying each day while waiting for an organ.
Although 95% of adults say they support organ donation, only 48% of them are actually signed up as donors. Not everyone who dies can be an organ donor, narrowing the field even more. But each donor can save up to eight lives by donating eight different organs.
The most common type of organ donation is kidney donation, and this can be done from a live donor (we can survive with only one kidney). Patients waiting for kidneys are kept alive by dialysis and are unable to lead a normal life. Other organ donations include pancreas, liver, heart, lung, and intestine transplants.
Maximum Age for Organ Donation
There is no maximum age for organ donation. Transplants have been successfully conducted with organs from people over the age of 80. Doctors decide at the time of death whether specific organs are healthy enough for transplantation. Some people may find comfort in knowing that when their time comes, they will have the privilege of saving others’ lives. Family members are often comforted after death by the fact that their tragedy was a miracle for someone else.
April has been designated as Organ Donation Month. There’s no time like the present to sign up as an organ donor. If you’re just learning about organ donation or have been concerned about signing up, see this article from the Mayo Clinic.
To sign up as an organ donor, go here and choose your state. If you’re renewing your driver’s license, you can sign up as an organ donor at the same time.
Statistics in this post retrieved from the American government website on organ donation