How Organ Transplants Affect People's Lives

Save lives! Organ donation gives individuals a wonderful opportunity to feel that the end of their own life may help to prolong someone else's. Signing a donor card is one step in the organ donation process. Donation and transplantation are consistent with the life-preserving traditions of most faiths. A single donor can help more than 50 people. Organ transplants (heart, lung, liver, kidney, pancreas, & intestine) are critically needed. Tissue transplants (eyes, skin, bone, heart valves, tendons, veins, etc) can be donated to help fight infections in burn victims, prevent the loss of arms or legs, and restore eyesight. If transplantation is not an option for a donor, organ donation centers can use the organs for medical research . (4 Email CTDN Cal. Transplant Donor Network)

Because of the critical shortage of donor organs, patients must wait to receive their life saving transplants. Sadly, one person dies every 2 hours because not enough families say "yes" to donation. Below are the median waiting times in days from the time patients are listed until they receive their transplants:

Kidney

520 days

Kidney-Pancreas

302 days

Pancreas

437 days

Liver

104 days

Heart

245 days

Heart-Lung

598 days

Lung

410 days

AVERAGE

414 days

In all parts of the world, patients wait for donor organs. Many patients die while waiting, especially kidney transplant patients. In Victoria, Australia, 30% of patients on waiting lists die before these organs become available. Transplantation is often the only answer for people suffering end stage diseases. (4 Email CTDN Cal. Transplant Donor Network) What are the success rates for transplants? Good and continually getting better. This is due to careful screening of the processes and development of better anti-rejections drugs. After one year, many transplant patients enjoy a survival rate of more than 80%, and in many instances, more than 90%.

The Organ Donor Program is truly a gift of life. Generally organs and tissues are donated by individuals at the time of death. This is called cadaveric donation. Living donors also contribute, and these donors are usually blood relatives of the recipient. The names of all those waiting for transplants from cadaveric or living donors are placed on a waiting list until suitably matched organs become available.If you are 18 years or older, you may become a donor by signing a Uniform Donor Card or the organ donor declaration on your driver's license. (6 National Issues and Strategies - Organ and Tissue Donation- What's It All About?) The National Transplant Assistance Fund involves patients, support groups, volunteers, and public service to promote transplantation successfully all around the world. (7 Email NTAF )


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Affect on People's Lives

Economic Impact

Transplant History

Critical Technology

Impact of Technology

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