The increasing number of people in the US waiting for an organ donor is alarming. Often in need of organs like kidney, heart, and liver, these patients often have to wait for years, and many have lost lives. If you are concerned about this or want to do something concrete about this, you can decide to become an organ donor. As an organ donor, you are agreeing to donate all or some of your organs when you die, and most organs come from the deceased. There are only few healthy people who choose to donate otherwise. You may have questions like – Who can become an organ donor? Or how long do tissue last before transplants? In this post, let’s delve into the basics.
Who can become an organ donor?
Anyone can choose to become an organ donor, regardless of age. If you want to donate your organs after death, a medical test will be done to determine what can be donated. Certain factors may exclude some people from becoming donors, like extreme infections or conditions like HIV. You should know that transparent organs to a patient is when the blood and tissues are an ideal match with the donor. Given the current shortage of donors, often organs have to be transported across states to help waiting patients.
How long do organs and tissues last before transplants?
Today, doctors have better preservation techniques than before and can do better when it comes to transporting organs. Heart and lung can be preserved for about six hours, while pancreas and liver can be preserved for up to 24 hours. Kidneys can be preserved for as long as 72 hours, while corneas of the eye can be transplanted into a patient in five days. Some body parts, such as skin and bone, can be preserved for as long as 10 years.
‘Can I donate an organ now?’
Yes, you can, but your medical condition and several other factors have to be considered. It doesn’t have to cause major health issues, depending on the organ being donated. For instance, if you choose to donate a lung, kidney or just a part of your pancreas, it shouldn’t affect your wellbeing, again depending on your health. Doctors will not ahead with a donation, even if you are interested, if they know that there could be a major health scare.
There are organizations and nonprofit enterprises that are helping patients and seeking donors. Check online for details.