Should you donate your organs?

March 17, 2010
By TaraB BRONZE, Reno, Nevada
TaraB BRONZE, Reno, Nevada
1 article 0 photos 0 comments

Should you donate your organs?

Have you ever thought about what would happen to you if you were in a life or death situation all depending on if you could get a new organ? Well that’s the case for many people. There are over 79,000 U.S. patients currently waiting for an organ transplant, each month there are nearly 3,000 new patients are added to the waiting list, and 16 to 17 people die each day while waiting for a transplant of a vital organ, such as a heart, liver, kidney, pancreas, lung or bone marrow. Therefore we need more people to donate and help save lives if theirs can’t be saved. Since there are not a lot of donors, in 2001 there were 2,025 kidney patients, 1,347 liver patients, 458 heart patients and 361 lung patients who died while waiting for organ transplants.
There is a lot of controversy on if donating is right and if it’s messing up the way of life. Some people think that it is the person’s “time to go” so donating would make the patient live longer than they are suppose to. But then there are the other people, like me, who think that if someone is dying or no longer is in need of an organ then they should give it to someone who can use it and needs it more than that person does. And donating blood is harmless and completely safe but some think differently. People who don’t agree think they can get infected by the needle that is used to take the blood out, which of course is completely new, never used, and 100% sterile.
Donors can be anywhere from newborn to 65 years or sometimes even older to donate, which means almost everyone is eligible to donate…and should. There are between 10,000 and 14,000 people who meet the standards for donating but less than half of them donate before they die each year. Most acceptable organ donors are those who are “brain dead” (whose brain has no function anymore) but whose heart and lungs continue to function with the use of ventilators. Brain dead is a legal definition of death so the family can have the option of donating.
They estimate the preservation time of the kidney is up to 72 hours, liver is up to 18 hours, heart/lungs is up to 5 hours, pancreas is up to 20 hours, corneas is up to 10 days, bone marrow varies by individual program, skin, bone, and valves is up to five or more years. In that case there is limited time to give vital organs to someone in need so everyone should have it planned whether or not to donate before it’s too late.
Patients who are waiting for organs get matched to a donor through a national computer registry; the registry is called the National Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network or OPTN. All hospitals are required by law to have a "Required Referral" system in place. Under this system, the hospital must notify all patient deaths to the local Organ Procurement Organization. If the OPO says that the organ or tissue is a match, they will have someone go talk to the patient’s family to give them the option of donating organs and tissues even if the patient has already chosen to be a donor. When someone chooses to be a donor, they sign a Uniform Donor Card which states that they want to be a donor.
People who chose to be organ and tissue donors should tell their loved ones about it so that when the opportunity of donating comes and the family signs the consent, their wishes to donate and save others will be honored. About 35% of people who chose to be donors never end up donating because their family will not give consent. They think that they would be letting them go and are in too much grief that they do not realize how many other lives they would be saving.
All costs related to the donation of organs and tissues are paid for by the donor program. Organ transplant recipients are selected on the urgency of the medical situation, the compatibility of body size and blood chemistries, not race, sex or creed.
Advanced surgical techniques, organ preservation techniques, and newer, more effective drugs that help prevent rejection have increased the success of all transplant survivals. The survival rates for a kidney transplant from a dead person is 94.8%, a kidney transplant from a live donor is 97.7%, a pancreas is 95.9%, a liver transplant is 86.9%, a heart transplant is 85.8%, a lung transplant is 75.8%, a heart and lung transplant is 74.7%, and an intestine transplant is 69.6%.
The procedure is simple; the doctor surgically removes the organ or tissue while a donor is asleep under anesthesia. And since they are removed surgically there is no sign of it outside the body. Some families won’t agree to donate for their deceased loved ones because they are afraid it will show at the funeral.
People donate bone marrow by having a large needle poked into a pelvic bone when the donor is under anesthesia. Most bone marrow transplants are done for leukemia patients. Anyone can donate corneas no matter of abnormalities in vision.
And remember someone will die waiting while you decide.

Similar Articles


This article has 0 comments.

Taylortot97 said...
on Mar. 24 2016 at 10:08 am
This was very powerful. I'm so excited that I got to read it. Thank you for sharing kayla. This meant a lot to me. I can see it in your eyes what you are saying. I can read it and I know it's coming from you.

Parkland Book