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News & Info

The Importance of Organ Donation

A recent report on organ donation and transplantation issued by the Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network (OPTN), found that approximately 107,000 people are currently registered on the United States organ transplant waiting list, with a new person in need of a donation added to the list every 10 minutes. Tragically, organs available for donation are in short supply, resulting in an average of 17 deaths each day from waitlisted individuals who are unable to receive a donation. These statistics further underscore the importance and urgency for increased awareness and participation in organ donation. National Donor Day aims to bring awareness to these shortages and promote donations.


What Is Organ Donation?

Organ donation Is the act of donating your healthy organs or tissues to save or improve the lives of those in need. Currently, there are two types of donation available – deceased donation and living donation – each with its own benefits and significance.


Deceased Donation

Deceased donation is among the most common types of donation and occurs when organs are retrieved and donated from those who have passed away and decided before death that their organs may be donated in their passing. In many cases, donations from deceased individuals occur in cases of brain death when organs are most viable for transplant.

Learn More: Deceased Organ Donation


Living Organ Donation

Living donations involve individuals who volunteer to donate their organs while they are still alive. In many cases of living donation, individuals will donate part of their organ, with the most common involving portions of the liver and kidneys. In many cases, living donations provide an alternative option for those waiting for a donation from a deceased donor.

Learn More: Living Organ Donation


The Importance of Donating Organs

Donation serves as a lifeline for individuals facing life-threatening conditions who need organ and tissue transplantation. By contributing organs, donors can provide the gift of renewed and prolonged life to those in need. Not only does organ donation transform the recipient’s life, but the donors too. Here are some of the fact’s organ donors should know when they decide to donate:


What Types of Organs Can Be Donated?

Multiple different types of organs can be donated, including the liver, kidneys, pancreas, heart, lungs, skin, bones, intestines and more.

How Are Recipients Chosen?

Recipients for donation, outside of personal donation to a family member or friend, are selected based on a randomized process to ensure ethical standards and practices. Some factors that impact who receives the donation include the blood and tissue type, the urgency of the transplant, the size and type of organ, geographic location and more.

Can Organs Be Donated For Money?

Strict guidelines and policies impact the donation process. In the united states and internationally, it is illegal for any individual or enterprise to purchase, gift, exchange or sell organs or tissue for transplant. Those who do so can be charged with a federal felony offense.

Is There An Age Limit?

There is no age limit for donating organs as a living or deceased donor. In all cases, consent is required of both living and deceased donors or their guardians/proxies before donations.

Do Organ Donors Remain Anonymous?

Organ donors have the option to remain anonymous in the process and not release their information to the organ recipient. If a donor would like their identity to be released, they are required to agree by signing specific forms with the hospital or donation center.


Learn More About Organ Donation

With a better understanding of the donation process, the next question may be how to become a donor. Becoming an organ donor can be achieved through multiple different ways. It should be a well-thought-out, personal, and ethical decision made without pressure or coercion.

For many individuals, the choice for donation is indicated on your driver’s license. Registering can also be done online through the organ donation registry website.


Getting Involved

For those who are interested in working with organ transplant donors and recipients before, during, and after the transplant process, a career as a transplant nurse will allow you to have a more active role in the process while helping to facilitate these life-saving measures.

Becoming a transplant nurse first requires completion of a Bachelor of Science in Nursing, with required additional certification through the American Board for Transplant Certification. The journey toward a career as a transplant nurse starts with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from the University of Providence. With programs for recent high-school graduates, existing bachelor’s degree holders, or nurses with an Associate Degree in Nursing, our dynamic programs can help you take the first step to a career in nursing.