Organ Donation

What organs and tissues can I donate?                                          

Organs you can donate include heart, kidneys, pancreas, lungs, liver and intestines.  Tissue that can be donated include eyes, skin, bone, heart valves, veins and tendons.  One person can help 100 other people.

Is there an age limit for being a donor?

There is no age limit for donation.  Each potential donor is medically evaluated on an individual basis.  The oldest organ donor was 96 years old. 

Is it possible to become a donor if I have had cancer?

Yes.  If a person has been cancer free for a number of years, it is possible to become a donor.  Likewise, a person can still become a donor if he/she has had Diabetes, Hepatitis A or B, or Lupus.  Currently, physicians are now transplanting Hepatitis C organs into Hepatitis C recipients.  In all cases, each person’s medical history will be evaluated and screened on an individual basis.  

I have been told that I cannot be a blood donor.  Does this mean I cannot become an organ donor?

No.  The guidelines for a blood donor are different than for an organ and tissue donor.  A blood donor must be in good health.  Even a simple cold could defer a blood donor.  View blood donor qualifications.

Are there any costs to my family for donation?

No. Donation costs nothing to the donor’s family or estate.

Will my decision to become a donor affect the quality of my medical care?

No.  Organ and tissue recovery happens only after every effort has been made to save your life and death has been legally declared.

Will donation disfigure my body?  Can there be an open casket funeral?

Donation neither disfigures the body nor rules out an open casket funeral

Is donation compatible with my religious beliefs?

The vast majority of religions do support organ and tissue donation and transplantation. View a summary of several major religions and ethnic traditions’ basic beliefs associated with organ donation.

What happens to my donated organs?

A national system is in place to distribute organs fairly.  Factors such as race, gender, age, income or celebrity status are not considered when determining who receives organs or tissues.  Buying and selling organs, tissues and eyes is illegal.

When was the first successful transplant surgery performed?

The era of modern transplantation began very early in the twentieth century.  The first successful surgery was a  kidney transplant performed in 1954.  To view a timeline of the history of transplantation.

Preguntas y Respuestas Sobre Donacion de Organos y Tejidos

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