Be An Organ Donor

  • More than 119,000 Americans are waiting for an organ transplant. 80% of patients on the  transplant waiting list are waiting for a kidney. The average waiting time for a kidney from a deceased donor is 3 to 5 years. Unfortunately, another person is added to the organ transplant waiting list every 10 minutes.
  • A kidney from a living donor offers patients an alternative to years of dialysis and time on the national waiting list. The living donor’s remaining kidney will enlarge, doing the work of two healthy kidneys.
  • Unfortunately, statistics show that 8,000 people each year pass away due to the unavailability of vital organs for transplantation. Thousands of people await tissues for surgical procedures that will help them live normal lives. A donated cornea, for example, will help someone who is blind, to see again.
  • Acceptable organ and tissue donors can range in age from newborn to 65 years or older. Nearly one-third of all deceased donors are 50 years of age or older and more than 7% are 65 years of age or older.
  • Organ donation is only an option after all attempts to save someone’s life have been exhausted.
  • Donor organs are matched to waiting recipients by a national computer registry called the National Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network (OPTN). This computer registry is operated by an organization known as the United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS).
  • By signing a Uniform Donor Card, an individual indicates his or her wish to be a donor. However, at the time of death, the person’s next-of-kin will still be asked to sign a consent form for donation. It is important for people who wish to be organ and tissue donors to tell their families about this decision so that their wishes will be honored at the time of death.
  • You can also show that you are an organ donor by placing the red heart on your driver’s license. This can be done when renewing your license or getting your license for the first time.
  • Organ transplant recipients are selected on the basis of medical urgency, as well as compatibility of body size and blood chemistries, and not race, sex or creed.
  • Advances in surgical techniques and organ preservation and the development of more effective drugs to prevent rejection have improved the success rate of all types of organ tissue transplants.
  • Virtually all religious denominations approve of organ and tissue donation as representing the highest humanitarian ideals and the ultimate charitable act.
  • To join the Organ Donor Registry,  click here. This does not show living organ donation. It only shows for organ donation after death. To become a living organ donor and to find out more information about living organ donation, click here.
  • Note: If you are registered in the state of Louisiana, your organ donation registry does not carry over to other states. Also, if you are registered in another state, you must register again in the state of Louisiana.