Lincoln – An organ, eye, and tissue donor can save and heal more than 100 lives. Join the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) in recognizing National Donor Day, February 14, which highlights the critical importance of organ, eye, and tissue donation.
According to Live On Nebraska, a local non-profit dedicated to saving and healing lives through organ, tissue, and eye donation, there are over 300 people in Nebraska waiting for an organ transplant. In 2022, more than 600 people gave the gift of life through organ and tissue donation.
Live On Nebraska is one of 57 organ procurement organizations throughout the country. Their service area includes all of Nebraska and Pottawattamie County, Iowa. They work to recover organs and tissue for transplantation, maintain and grow Nebraska’s donor registry, and provide education on the importance of donation.
Nationally, there are over 100,000 people on the waiting list for an organ transplant. 20 people die each day because an organ is not available for them. 85% of these individuals need a kidney. Organs are matched based on compatibility, distance to the donor, and recipient urgency. They are never matched based on someone’s race, gender, income, or social status.
While organs are most commonly donated after the donor’s death, a living donation is a chance to help a person when an individual is still alive. Common living donations include a kidney or a portion of the liver. Many people do not realize that corneas, bones, tendons, heart valves, intestines, veins, nerves, arteries, and skin can also be transplanted.
Donate Life America notes that 95% of Americans support organ donation, but only 60% of individuals nationwide are registered donors. In Nebraska, 54% of individuals are registered donors.
Here are some things to keep in mind if you are considering registering as a donor:
- Donation is only possible after all efforts to save the patient’s life have been exhausted.
- An open-casket funeral is almost always possible following donation.
- Donation is free for the donor’s family.
- Nearly all major religions support donations.
Signing up to be a donor means you may someday help others in need. Anyone age 16 or older, regardless of their health, can register to donate by visiting https://liveonnebraska.org/