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Are organ and tissue transplants experimental?

Medication and medical advances have resulted in transplant surgeries today that are very successful, in fact as high as 95 percent. The transplantation of vital organs has become routine surgical operation and is no longer experimental.

How are organs and tissues for transplantation obtained?

Many organ and tissues are donated by individuals at the time of their death. Others are donated by living donors.

How are organs from deceased donors distributed?

Generally, donated organs are matched with individuals on an organ waiting list. Matching is based on a variety of factors including blood and tissue types, medical need, length of time on the waiting list and weight of donor and recipient.

What if organ and tissue donation is against my religion?

Religious leaders of most denominations throughout the world favor organ and tissue donation and consider it the greatest humanitarian act. If you are concerned, check with your religious leader.

Which organs and tissues can be donated after death?

Kidneys, lungs, corneas, livers, pancreases, heart valves, bones, tendons, skin and bone marrow can all be transplanted. If desired, a donor can specify on a donor card which organs and tissues are to be donated.

Do I have to pay to be an organ and tissue donor after death?

Donors and their families do not pay for any expenses associated with organ and tissue donation.

Who can become a donor?

All individuals can indicate their intent to donate (persons younger than 18 years of age must have a parent’s or guardian’s consent). Medical suitability for donation is determined at the time of death.

Are there age limits for donors?

There are no age limitations on who can donate. Whether you can donate depends on your physical condition, not age. Newborns as well as senior citizens have been organ donors.

Can I be an organ and tissue donor and also donate my body to medical science?

Total body donation generally is not an option if you choose to be an organ and tissue donor. Eye donors still may be accepted. Also, there are a few medical schools and research organizations that still may accept an organ donor for research. If you wish to donate your entire body, you should contact the medical organization of your choice directly and make arrangements. Medical schools, research facilities, and other agencies study bodies to understand how disease affects human beings. This research is vital to saving and improving lives.

Does organ and tissue donation after death cause any disfigurement to the donor?

Organ removal is a sterile surgical procedure wherein the body remains totally intact.

Will being a declared organ donor (to donate after my death) affect the care I receive in a hospital?

Organ and tissue donation is not even considered until all possible efforts to save a person’s life have been exhausted.