The topic of organ donation is often a touchy one, but there is no denying that organ donation saves and improves the lives of many. In fact, the average organ donor can save as many as eight lives. Additionally, that same donor’s eyes and tissue can be used to improve the lives of up to 50 people. However, many motorists – especially young drivers – prefer to learn about the organ donation process before deciding whether to become a donor or not. For this reason, the expert team at OnlineDriversLicenses.org has put together a comprehensive guide to help you understand the benefits of organ donation, as well as the process of organ donation.
The Benefits of Organ Donation
According to the expert team at OnlineDriversLicenses.org, organ donation is beneficial, mainly because it helps to save and improve lives. The U.S. Department of Health & Human Services says that more than 119,000 men, women and children are currently waiting for an organ donation, and 22 people die daily waiting for a life-saving organ donation. Each organ donor can donate one heart, two lungs, one liver, one pancreas, two kidneys and his or her intestines.
Although more than 130 million adults are currently registered as organ donors (more than 50 percent of American adults), an additional patient is added to the organ donation waiting list every 10 minutes. Therefore, the need for additional organ donors is greater than ever. If you haven’t yet signed up to become an organ donor, the group at OnlineDriversLicenses.org encourages you to register through the state in which you live.
The Process of Organ Donation
According to the expert team at OnlineDriversLicenses.org, most organ donations take place after the donor is deceased. This is referred to a deceased donation. For example, many organ donations take place after a deadly car accident has taken place. However, the living donation process occurs when tissues and organs (like a kidney, a lung or part of the liver) are donated while the donor is alive.
When the organs from deceased or living donors are matched with patients who are in need of an organ donation, a number of factors are taken into consideration. For instance, the location between the donor and the recipient must be considered, as well as the severity of the patient’s medical condition, the patient’s waiting time and whether the patient is available for surgery or not. Also, the body sizes and blood types of the patient and donor must be considered.
Verifying Organ Donor Status
According to the group of experts at OnlineDriversLicenses.org, organ donation is only possible in about three in 1,000 deaths. Typically, organ donation is possible in donors who have fatal head injuries as the result of a brain aneurysm, a stroke or a car accident. During a severe injury such as these, medical professionals do everything they can to save the lives of the victims. Therefore, organ donation isn’t even considered until the victim is pronounced brain dead. A series of tests are performed to determine whether brain death has occurred or not.
After a patient has passed on, the hospital must report the death to the Organ Procurement Organization (OPO). Upon providing the OPO with patient information, the OPO will determine whether the patient is eligible for organ donation or not. If the deceased patient is an eligible candidate for organ donation, a member of the OPO staff will travel to the hospital. Additionally, a member of the OPO will determine whether the deceased patient is a registered organ donor through the state in which he or she lives. If the patient is a registered donor, this serves as legal consent. If the patient was not registered as a donor and did not provide consent on his or her driver’s license, the patient’s next of kin will be given the opportunity to authorize the donation or not.
Matching the Donor
After authorization takes place, the OPO will contact the Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network (OPTN). Then, the OPTN will search the national database of patients who are currently waiting for a transplant. The OPTN will then enter information about the deceased patient into the network’s computer system to search for the best possible match. Typically, donations are matched with patients in the area; however, other tissues may be shared with patients around the U.S.