Organ donation can help grieving families to give hope to others.
Organs donated from one person can save the lives of numerous others.
Organs can be donated when a person dies; but some organs, including kidneys, can also be donated through living donations, either by family members who are matches or by a person who gives an organ to a stranger. People have two kidneys, and most people can live well with just one kidney.
Organ donations are in great demand due to an increase in life expectancy and chronic diseases, such as diabetes.
Organ donors must be healthy, and will be expected to undergo medical evaluation to determine whether they are a suitable donor. Donors are hospitalized for 2 to 5 days after the surgery. The transplant is usually paid for by the recipient's insurance provider.
Local organ transplants. Providence Sacred Heart Medical Center raises a green and white flag near their cafeteria every time someone donates organs, or when someone receives donations through potentially life-saving transplants. Sacred Heart Medical Centerís transplant program had survival rates that were better than the national average. (2008 Scientific Registry of Transplant Recipients report)
The need for transplants. Every 80 minutes someone dies in the U.S., awaiting an organ transplant because of the shortage. Nationwide,
more than 100,000 people of all ages are awaiting organ transplants to
save their lives. Thousands more are in need of tissue and cornea
transplants to restore their mobility and sight.
More than 1,600 people wait for organ transplants of all kinds in the Pacific Northwest. (Life Center Northwest)
The average wait time for those on the kidney transplant list is 2 to 5 years, depending on the person's blood type.
More than 1,200 patients have received kidney transplants at Spokane's Providence Sacred Heart Medical Center.
What You Can Do
Register as a potential donor for marrow or blood stem cell. Donations from matched marrow donors are used to cure blood disorders such as leukemia.
Ask the Department of Licensing to identify you as an organ donor on your Driver's License. Register by visiting http://www.donatelifetoday.com. If you have a small "heart" on the front of your driver's license, you are already registered.
Talk with your family to share your decision to be a donor. Show them your donor card. Specify all or just particular organs, eye or tissue.
For information on becoming a living donor:
Providence Sacred Heart Kidney 105 W. 8th Avenue, Ste 1000 Spokane, WA (509) 474-4500
"A Heart Like Mine" - Cindy Scinto of Spokane received a heart transplant in 2005, and has written the book ďA Heart Like Mine.Ē Cindy talks about the importance of being an organ donor, and how harboring someone elseís heart changes you. http://AHeartLikeMine.com Donate Life http://www.donatelife.net