Did you know that you have the potential to save and enhance up to 8 lives through organ and tissue donation? The Department of Health & Human Services reported that in the past year organ donors have made more than 28,000 transplants possible, and another one million people received tissue transplants that helped to improve their quality of life. However, thousands of individuals die every year waiting for organ and tissue transplants. This is a tragedy that does not have to occur. April is National Donate Life Month, so for this month's Nurse's Health Corner, we are correcting some common myths about organ donation. Information provided by Donate Life America.
- Myth: If I'm in an accident and the hospital knows that I am designated as a donor, the doctors won't try to save my life.
- Fact: The number one priority in hospitals is to save the life of the patient. Organ, eye, and tissue donations are only considered after you have been declared officially brain dead.
- Myth: I am too old (or too young) to be a donor.
- Fact: Anyone, regardless of age, gender, or medical history can be a donor.
- Myth: My religion does not support organ donation.
- Fact: All major religions support organ, tissue, and eye donation as a final act of generosity and love towards others.
- Myth: Donating my organs would be costly or burdensome to my family.
- Fact: There is no cost to the donor or their family for tissue or organ donation.
- Myth: The recipient will know who I am.
- Fact: Information about the donor is only released to the recipient if the donor's family requests or agrees to it.
- Myth: My family will not be able to have an open casket funeral if I become a donor.
- Fact: Donated organs are removed surgically and throughout the donation process the body is treated with dignity and respect. Organ, tissue, and eye donors can have open casket funerals.
- Myth: Priority treatment is given to rich and/or famous individuals when it comes to the waiting list for organ transplants.
- Fact: When you are on the waiting list the severity of your illness, time spent waiting, blood type, and other pertinent medical information is what counts- not your financial status or popularity.
To register as an organ, tissue, and/or eye donor please check out the Donate Life America website or visit: https://registerme.org/.
Information provided by Abigail Willett, student intern with Community Outreach at Augusta Health. To contact Dana Breeding, RN, relating to the information in this article or with questions/comments/concerns, please call (540) 332-4988 or (540) 932-4988.