Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Organ Donation: Myths & Facts

Did you know that April is Organ Donation Awareness Month?
Most people don't. 
It's no secret that I am an organ donation advocate, being as my own daughter Madi was saved by organ donation.  But what about those that are on the fence?  There are a lot of myths and misconceptions about organ donation and the process that brings about transplantation, and they tend to lead people away from consenting to be a donor.  We already have far too few organs available for the people that need them, so it's my hope to bring a bit of awareness to all of you, thereby helping you to realize what a wonderful, selfless, and beautiful decision organ donation is. 
Please take the time to read the following information, and BECOME A DONOR!  ONE donor can save some 60 lives!  What a great legacy to leave behind.

"Don't take your organs to Heaven; Heaven knows we need them here."

Myth #1:  If I have checked the donor box on my license and I am rushed to the hospital for something, the docs will not try to save me so that they can use my organs.

Truth:  Any doctor's number one priority is to preserve life.  Medical personnel will do everything possible to save anyone that enters their facility.  They do not view organ donors as a means to procure an organ, and in fact do not even know if someone is a donor while trying to treat the person and save their life.

Myth #2: Only hearts, livers and kidneys can be transplanted.

Truth: Needed organs include the heart, kidneys, pancreas, lungs, liver and intestines. Tissue that can be donated include the eyes, skin, bone, heart valves and tendons.

Myth #3: A donor card/notification on my driver's license is all I need to be a donor.

Truth:  In most states, hospitals can legally proceed with organ, eye or tissue donation, without consent from next of kin, if you have a driver's license with an "organ donor" designation or have signed up with an organ donor registry. However, it's important to talk to your family about your decision to donate LIFE so they are aware of your wishes and will feel comfortable honoring them.

Myth #4: Celebrity or financial status determines placement on the transplant list, so ordinary people don't get the organs that they need.

Truth:  When you are on the transplant waiting list for a donor organ, what really counts is the severity of your illness, time spent waiting, blood type, and other important medical information.

Myth #5: There's a danger of being heavily drugged and then waking up to find you are missing a kidney for a black market transplant.

Truth: This tale has been widely circulated over the Internet. There is absolutely no evidence of such activity ever occurring in the U.S. While the tale may sound credible, it has no basis in the reality of organ transplantation. Many people who hear the myth probably dismiss it, but it is possible that some believe it and decide against organ donation out of needless fear.

Myth #6: My religion prohibits organ donation.

Truth: All major religions approve of organ and tissue donation and consider it an act of charity.

Myth #7: I am too old to be a donor.

Truth: People of all ages and medical histories should consider themselves potential donors. Your medical condition at the time of death will determine what organs and tissue can be donated.

All information provided by UNOS (United Network for Organ Sharing) and can be found at www.unos.org

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