A Simple Registration Saves Lives

April 8, 2019

You read it all the time: “register here for an exclusive coupon” or “sign-up now to receive a gift card.” The constant ads that crowd your email about the latest consumer goods get tiring. In these instances, registration seems like an invasion of your privacy—but what if registering could save a life…or three?

Why should I register to be an organ donor?

We all know that the human body is the ultimate group project. Each body system works together to keep you living your life. Unfortunately, some people might experience some trauma, disease, or dysfunction with their organ-based body systems. Sometimes these failures require a transplant of the dying organ for a healthy one—that’s where you step in!

How can I help?

Organ donation saves lives. To help, you can start with registering as a donor online. Your legacy could live on through the post-mortem donation of essential organs to bring back life to someone else. But, respecting your bodily autonomy—even after death—is important, too.

What can I expect of the registration process?

Your legal consent to be a donor comes in the form of registration in your state. Signing up does not guarantee that every tissue or organ will be donated. Usually, registration takes place several years before a donation even becomes possible.

If I were seriously hospitalized, will my medical services be negatively affected because I am a donor?

Absolutely not. If you were to need serious medical help for a traumatic event or long-term disease, you would still be the hospital’s priority. Your status as a donor does not come into play until the providers have done everything medically possible to save your life.

Brain death must occur before the donation process can begin. People cannot “come back” from brain death, so once that’s established, donation becomes a possibility.

For more information on your local Organ Procurement Organization (OPO), click here.

How is the donation process authorized?

The OPO representative searches if the deceased has registered as a donor. If not registered, the next of kin will be asked for authorization. After authorization, a medical evaluation takes place—including the complete medical history from the family.

Where can I learn more?

It’s important to be well-informed about the donation process. To keep learning about the matching process, recovering and transporting process, and the actual transplanting of lifesaving donations, click here.