April: Organ Donation Month
Each day, about 74 people receive an organ transplant. However, 18 people die each day waiting for a transplant that can’t take place because of the shortage of donated organs.
Why is there a shortage? There have been many advances in science that have made transplant surgery a desired treatment, this has caused the number of patients needing a transplant to increase and the availability of donated organs is small. Thankfully, the donation of an organ – heart, lung, kidney, liver, or pancreas – can save or enhance the lives of patients and return them to full, productive lives.
Transplanted bone can help rebuild a damaged limb and save it from amputation, a donated heart valve can save the life of a child in need of cardiac reconstruction. Donated veins can be used in life-saving heart bypass operations. Donated corneas can restore lost sight, and transplanted skin can help burn patients heal.
Many families who have donated say the act of donation allowed something profoundly meaningful to arise from an otherwise tragic situation. Knowing their choice has helped others live, may offer grieving families solace and consolation.
The most important part of deciding to be a donor is telling your family. Although most people support donation, many have not told family members of their wishes. Even if you have signed a donor card or indicated your wish to be a donor on your driver's license, your family will be consulted before donation can take place. This is why it is so important to have a family discussion now to make sure your wishes are respected in the future.
Donating organs and tissues is your opportunity to give life and health to someone else.
- 1. Sign a donor card and carry it with you.
- 2. Most importantly, tell you family about your wishes.
If you have any questions, or would like more information on organ donation please contact our Community Health Nurse Judy Stevens or call (603) 862-3823.