April 15, 2016
April is National Donate Life Month!
Organ transplantation is an accepted medical treatment for end-stage organ failure. But only you can help make it happen. People of every age give and receive organ donations. Recipients are aged 0 past 65 years.
One organ donor can save up to eight lives. The same donor can enhance the lives of up to 50 people by donating tissues. More than 28,000 lives are saved every year by organ donors. Each day, about 79 people receive organ transplants.
More than 123,000 people in the United States are currently on the waiting list for a lifesaving organ transplant. Another name is added to the national transplant waiting list every 12 minutes. About 22 people die every day from the lack of available organs for transplant. I personally lost a family member last week, who died while waiting for a transplant.
Over half of the recipients survive past 5-years after their transplant:
- Kidney (deceased donor): 83.4%
- Kidney (living donor): 92%
- Heart: 76.8%
- Liver (deceased donor): 74.3%
- Liver (living donor): 81.3%
- Lung: 55.2%
Each number represents a life: a mom, a dad, a brother, a sister, or a child. Each is someone who is important to someone else, maybe even you.
African Americans, Asians and Pacific Islanders, and Hispanics/Latinos are three times more likely than Caucasians to suffer from end-stage renal (kidney) disease, often as the result of high blood pressure and other conditions that can damage the kidneys.
Blood types and tissue markers (specific proteins) are more likely to match among members of the same ethnicity, though many matches occur for patients with different backgrounds. A greater diversity of donors may potentially increase access to transplantation for everyone.