How to Best Increase Life Saving Organ Donations

Huffington Post | Mirah Riben

An organ transplant is often a patient's last hope for life, and it is well known that there are an insufficient number of organs being donated from living or deceased donors. The wealthy always have the option of avoiding long waiting lists by finding quasi legal organs for sale within and outside the US. For the rest of us, it could take years to get an organ transplant. There is an urgent need and we must investigate how to best increase the donor pool.

According to the US Department of Health & Human Services, and UNOS (United Network for Organ Sharing), a nonprofit organization in Richmond Va. that administers the country's only Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network, approximately 28,000 organs are transplanted each year in America; 79 a day. Hearts, kidneys, liver, lungs, pancreas, intestine, and thymus all can be transplanted. (Additionally, tissue transplantation includes bones, tendons, cornea, skin, heart valves, nerves and veins.)

Approximately 18 people die every day - more than 6,000 a year - due to a shortage of donated organs, and the lack of organs for transplant will continue to rise as the population ages. While people die in need, one person can save or enhance the lives of up to 50 other people through organ and tissue donation, according to Gift of Life. Continue reading