If you're like most people, you want to give back to your community in some way. You likely have favorite causes and charities to which you offer your time and financial support. But did you know that there is a completely free way for you make a difference–and save lives? All you have to do is sign up to be an organ, tissue, and eye donor.
April is National Donate Life Month, so this is the perfect time for you to learn about the process and its benefits. Here are some things you should know.
- Last year, 28,535 organ transplants were completed.
- As of last month, more than 113,000 patients were waiting for transplants.
- Presently, there are approximately 9,000 Floridians waiting for lifesaving transplants.
- Every day, an average of 18 people die as they wait for an organ transplant.
- By donating organs after you die, you can save 8 lives or improve up to 50 lives.
- After losing someone, many families take solace in knowing that their loved one helped save other lives.
- No matter what your race, age, or medical history, you are a potential donor.
- If you are hurt or sick, your health is the most important priority to your healthcare team. Organ, eye, and tissue donation is considered only after a patient is deceased.
- People who are wealthy or famous do not get preference when they are on an organ donor list. Organs are given to those who are in the most need.
- Every major U.S. religion supports organ, tissue, and eye donation, and sees it as a final act of love and generosity.
- Donating organs, eyes, and tissue is done at no cost to the donor's family.
Not sure how to register? You can do it when you receive or renew your drivers license. You can also sign up directly at OrganDonor.gov. Either way, be sure to carry an organ donor card with you, and discuss your decision with your family. It is important that those close to you know what your wishes are if you get hurt or become seriously ill.
At St. Petersburg General Hospital, we encourage you to learn about organ donation. If you have general medical questions or need a physician referral, call our Consult-A-Nurse line at 1-888-741-5122.