Each April, National Donate Life Month is observed across the United States to raise awareness about organ, eye, and tissue donations. It is also an excellent opportunity to encourage citizens to register as donors. Everyone’s life will run through a different journey, but no matter the outcome, there is always a chance to make a difference for others.
According to White House information, more than 400,000 Americans are alive because of organ donors’ tremendous generosity and courage. Moreover, every single one of us has the power to save up to eight lives and significantly change the quality of life of 75 people.
How to become an organ donor?
Depending on the place you live, there are three primary ways to register as an organ, eye, and tissue donor:
Filling out a form on your state’s web page. You will need your driver’s license.
Visiting your state’s local motor vehicle office
Sign up through a health app on your phone, and your data will go to a national registration system.
What happens after I am registered as a donor?
If you are a living donor, you can give a kidney or a portion of your liver and tissue to a considerable number of compatible donation recipients. It is important to remember that your loved ones will be asked to give their permission to proceed with the donation. Otherwise, when you pass away, your healthcare provider will contact the local OPO (Organ Procurement Organization) to double-check your registration.
How can hospice patients help with organ donations?
Today, over 100,000 Americans are waiting for an organ transplant, of whom about 8,000 will not receive it. As hospice care providers, we know that a patient must be in a controlled environment where organs can be recovered shortly after death.
At Ascend Hospice Care, we encourage our community to register as donors, although our primary focus will always be on the patient’s wishes and comfort. Becoming an organ, eye, and tissue donors will not affect the quality of care they receive in their lifetime, it could mean leaving an extraordinary legacy of dignity and compassion.