Have you ever considered being an organ donor?
Are you familiar with the pink dot on a driver’s license? If you’ve legally identified yourself as an organ donor, the DMV would have placed a pink dot on your driver’s license or ID card. However, you may be less familiar with the process of organ donation and what it means to identify as a donor.
Organ procurement organization OneLegacy is well aware of the myths attached to organ donation—including the fear that doctors will not work as hard to save your life if you are a registered donor. AltaMed is partnering with OneLegacy this year to help educate our patients and staff about what it means to register as a donor, and remind them of how many lives they can save by registering in advance.
Registering to be a donor ensures that your wishes are respected after death. Generally, to be eligible, one has to have been put through a devastating illness or trauma that places them on a ventilator (think severe head trauma or a brain aneurysm). Remaining on artificial support ensures that oxygen continues to flow to the organs, even in the case of brain death. Brain death is irreversible and must be confirmed by two licensed physicians not affiliated with the transplant team. The procurement organization makes sure that every usable organ is offered to the transplant team caring for the patient who is best matched to receive it.
According to OneLegacy, a single organ donor may save up to eight lives, while a tissue donor may impact up to 50 people. Tissue? Indeed, medical professionals are able to replace an infant’s damaged heart valve, use donated corneas to restore sight, or use donated bone and veins to prevent the amputation of a limb. Further, with approximately 29 million people in the U.S. diagnosed with type 2 diabetes—a leading cause of chronic kidney failure—and approximately two-thirds of U.S. kidney transplants coming from deceased donors, it is more important than ever to make your wishes known and share your decision with your family.
Are you a registered donor?
Click here for more information and to register to become a donor!