Across the nation, more than 120,000 Americans are on a waiting list for an organ transplant.
Thousands are waiting for hearts, lungs, livers, kidneys, intestines, and pancreases. Unfortunately, thousands of people never receive the life-saving donation they need.
While very specific medical considerations are required in order for a patient’s body to accept the donated organ, these medical requirements are not the only thing standing in the way of a patient receiving an organ.
Organ donations are limited because tens of thousands of New York residents have not yet chosen to be organ donors. We understand – the thought of organ donation can be scary, whether the donation is done while alive (a kidney, for example) or after death (a heart). Many people don’t want to plan for a time when they could pass away unexpectedly.
But thousands of patients are awaiting these organs, while countless others need tissue. They need tendons, veins or skin. They need heart valves. They need bone. They need corneas so they can see again.
You can help.
One person who chooses to donate all of their organs can save up to eight lives. Additional tissue donations can help improve the lives of dozens more.
By registering, you can ensure your organs are made available to help save the lives of patients both in your community and nationwide.
The first step anyone must take to become an organ donor is to enroll as a donor in your state’s donor registry.
State donor registries focus on individuals who approve of organ donation upon their death (for individuals who wish to be living donors, contact your health care providers; additional resources and organizations, such as Alliance for Paired Kidney Donation, can be found online).
The health and condition of the deceased will determine what organs are available to be donated. This can often be determined by factors such as whether the death was caused by a long-term health condition, a sudden health ailment, or an accident unrelated to natural causes.
It’s important to note that your decision to be a donor does not affect your medical care. Any decisions regarding donation occur only after all life-saving efforts have been made. Donations are made at no cost to the deceased patient’s family members.
If you are a New York State resident, you can sign up to be an organ, eye and tissue donor when you obtain or renew your driver’s license or non-driver ID at your local DMV.
You must sign the donor box on your license or ID’s application form to officially register as a donor.
Not planning a trip to the DMV soon? Visit LiveOnNY for online instructions.
Don’t forget – it’s always best to let your family members know of your decision to become an organ donor. This will ensure your doctors and caretakers understand your intentions as soon as possible, allowing for your organs to be donated quickly to patients in need.
If you already are an organ donor, we thank you for making the choice to help save the lives of the thousands currently in need.
If you’re not a donor yet, we encourage you to learn more about organ donation and ask your healthcare provider any questions you may have. We understand becoming an organ donor can be an emotional decision, and we thank you for taking the time to consider it.
For more information on organ donation, visit the following resources: