4 posts tagged “organ donor”

France flips the rules on organ donation

Posted February 14th, 2017 by

February 14th isn’t just Valentine’s day, it’s also National Donor Day. Did you know there are currently around 120,000 people waiting for a life-saving organ donation in the United States today? What better time to take a look at some of the measures other countries around the world are taking in order to combat their own long donor waiting lists.

Earlier this year, France made headlines by reversing its policy on organ donations so that all citizens are automatically presumed donors upon their death unless they join an official “opt-out” registry. Before that, unless the deceased person had made it known they did not wish to donate their organs, doctors were required to consult relatives, who in almost 30% of cases refused. The “opt-out” registry has garnered about 150,000 sign-ups so far.

France isn’t the only country to take an “opt-out” stance on organ donation. Countries like Belgium and Austria have also applied similar rules, and perhaps unsurprisingly, they see extremely high organ donation rates that hover around 98% and 99%. The list of registered organ donors in the US sits at around 48% of the population.

So, let’s take a look at some facts from the American Transplant Foundation about organ donation in the United States…

 

What do you think about France’s new law? Share your thoughts below or join the discussion in the forum.

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National Donor Day: Changing lives on both sides

Posted February 14th, 2016 by

“Be Mine.” It’s the mantra of Valentine’s Day, but today we’re honoring those who’ve said, “Have mine.” February 14 is also National Donor Day, and it’s all about recognizing the most precious valentine of all: the gift of life.

For every organ, tissue, marrow, platelet and blood donation, there are two sides to the story. Check out how two PatientsLikeMe members describe what it’s like to be offered another chance at a life, and how it feels to give that opportunity…

 

Life after a lung transplant

“I have a new normal now, but that is ok because I CAN BREATHE! It is something most people take for granted until they can’t. I know I did. The first year after transplant is rough to get the meds right … the frequent bronchoscopies. I had a setback with CMV virus and have had GI problems (med side effects) but have gotten it straightened out. In three weeks is my one-year birthday and I am positive I would not be here now if I didn’t get my new left lung.”

–       PatientsLikeMe member

The memory of her father lives on

“When my dad passed away, nine people were given a new lease on life from him!  We received several letters from family members. Most very simple thank yous and a little about the new life the recipient has now. Those letters mean the world to me, even all these years later. It’s like Dad lives on in the joy others now have.”

–       PatientsLikeMe member 

How can you help?

Every 10 minutes, a patient is added to the organ donor waiting list. So what can you do? Register to become an organ or tissue donor, find a local blood or platelet drive or join the Be The Match national bone marrow registry.

And if you have received an organ donation – or are waiting for one – you can reach out to the transplant community at PatientsLikeMe.

 

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Give the Gift of Life on National Donor Day

Posted February 13th, 2013 by

Valentine’s Day is all about showing your love for your significant other.  But what if it were also about showing your love for perfect strangers?

February 14th is National Donor Day, a day of awareness about how registering to be an organ donor can give someone a second chance at life.  Does your driver’s license currently indicate that you are a donor?  If not, and you’d like your organs (as well as potentially your tissues, marrow, platelets and blood) to help someone else after you are no longer here, sign up to be a donor today.  In the time it takes you to register, someone with a life-threatening condition will be added to the waitlist.

Wondering if your registration will really make a difference?  Here are a few statistics that help underscore the need for more donors:

  • 117,001 people are currently waiting for an organ transplant
  • 18 people will die each day while waiting for a new organ
  • 1 organ donor can save up to eight lives total

In particular, there is a need for more minority donors.  While organs are not matched according to race/ethnicity, there is a greater likelihood that compatible blood types and tissue markers – the critical elements of the matching process – will be found among members of the same ethnicity.  Thus, a greater diversity of donors could potentially increase access to transplantation, which is essentially the only treatment for end-stage organ failure (e.g. kidney failure, heart failure, liver failure).

Are you awaiting an organ transplant – or the recipient of one?  Join PatientsLikeMe to connect with others like you.  We have thousands of transplant patients among our members, including those with (or still awaiting) a heart transplant, kidney transplant, liver transplant, lung transplant and pancreas transplant. What’s it like to go through organ transplantation? Read our in-depth Patient Voice report on “Life After a Transplant” as well as our insightful interviews with liver transplant recipient Amy Tippins and kidney transplant recipient Michael Burke.


Have a Heart Today. Become a Donor.

Posted February 14th, 2012 by

Registering to Be a Donor Is About Giving Life to Another

February 14th is Valentine’s Day.  But it’s also National Donor Day.

Started in 1998 by the Saturn Corporation and United Auto Workers in cooperation with the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), this annual event is focused on five points of life:  organs, tissues, marrow, platelets and blood.  All of these can be donated to help save and/or improve the lives of others.

Here are a few numbers that help underscore the need:

  • 112,945 people are currently waiting for an organ transplant
  • 18 people will die each day while waiting for a new organ
  • 1 organ donor can save up to eight lives

Does your driver’s license indicate that you’re a donor?  If not, and you want to give others a second chance at life, sign up to be a donor today.  Worried you’re too old?  Don’t be.  The condition of your organs is more important than your age, and there are only a few absolute exclusions (such as HIV infection, active cancer and systemic infection).  So don’t rule yourself out when there’s a chance you could help.

Finally, there is a particular need for minority donors.  While organs are not matched according to race/ethnicity, there is a greater likelihood that compatible blood types and tissue markers – the critical elements of the matching process – will be found among members of the same ethnicity.  Thus, a greater diversity of donors could potentially increase access to transplantation for everyone.

A Snapshot of the Organ Transplant Patients at PatientsLikeMe

Are you awaiting an organ transplant – or the recipient of one?  Join PatientsLikeMe to connect with others like you.  We have hundreds of transplant patients among our members, including those with (or awaiting) a heart transplant, kidney transplant, liver transplant, lung transplant and pancreas transplant. What’s it like to go through transplantation? Read our recent interview with kidney transplant recipient and type 1 diabetes patient Michael Burke.