Every day in the United States 22 people die waiting for an organ and more than 123

Every day in the United States 22 people die waiting for an organ and more than 123,000 men, women and children await lifesaving organ transplants (www.unos.org, Nov 1, 2016). Every 10 minutes someone is added to the national transplant waiting list and 95 transplants take place each day in the US (www.dhs.wisconsin.gov).
Today I am going to inform you about organ donation including: what is organ donation how to register to be a donor, who is able to donate, the recipient end of donating, the matching organ process, and the process of what happens when an organ is ready to be donated.
So what is organ donation? It is removing an organ or tissue from one person (the organ donor) to another person (who is the recipient).
The first step in organ donation is being a registered organ donor. In Wisconsin you have to be at least 15 ½ to register to be a donor. You can register at DonateLifeWisconsin.org or at a Wisconsin DMV. In Wisconsin there are 2.6 million people registered as organ, tissue, and eye donors and there are more than 2,300 people on the waiting list for organ donations. (www.dhs.wisconsin.gov)
Anyone can donate regardless of their race, age, health. Nobody is too old to donate, the oldest donor in the U.S. was 92 years old. He donated his liver. In Scotland, a 107 year old donated her corneas. What is most important is the health and condition of your organs when you die. The few things that will not allow you to donate your organs are cancer, HIV, and a systemic infection.
On the recipient end of organ donation, the recipient in need of an organ transplant, needs to visit a transplant hospital. The transplant hospital physicians will evaluate you to determine if and when they will be put on a transplant list. There are different rules for each hospital in regards to accepting patients for transplants. When you are accepted as a transplant candidate you will be put on the national waiting list. You are allowed to get on more than one transplant hospital waiting list. The two popular transplant centers in Wisconsin are University of Wisconsin Health in Madison and Froedtert Hospital in Milwaukee. The UW Health transplant team is known all over the world for their donor facility. UW Health has performed over 13,000 transplants today. The average wait for a transplant: kidney, 5 years, liver, 11 months, heart, 4 months, lung, 4 months, pancreas, 2 years.
The process of donation is started by a person dying usually with head injuries resulting from brain death, stroke, or brain aneurysms. If brain death occurs the patient is keep on life support to keep the blood flow and oxygen to the organ. If a person dies unexpectedly and they are not registered as a donor, the hospital will ask the next of kin for consent to have your organs donated. The hospital will notify someone from the Organ Procurement Organization to talk to the family about donation. They will answer any questions the family has about the process.
When the patient is cleared for donation from family or registry the Organ Procurement Organization is notified to continue the process of donation. The hospital will give them all the necessary information to confirm if this person can be a donor. If the patient is cleared by OPO then their surgical team is notified and travels to the hospital to perform the surgery or procurement. The team usually arrives at their destination in six to eight hours later. The patient is taken to the operating room to remove the organs. Usually the recipient is waiting at the hospital for the organ sometimes prepped and on the operating room table.
The matching process involves the Organ Procurement Organization (OPO) notifying the organ and procurement transplantation networks (OPTN). These are the people that operate the national database for patients that are waiting for a transplant. This network matches the organs to potential recipients. The donor’s blood type, height, weight, among other data are put in to the system to begin looking for a potential candidate for the organs. Other factors considered for donor suitability are distance, medical urgency, length of time on waiting, and whether the person is available.
When the organ is matched with a recipient the organs will be transported to the recipient. Transportation of the organs can be helicopter, plane or ambulances. A heart can last 4-6 hours, pancreas 12-18 hours, lung 4-6 hours , liver 8-12 hours, kidney 24-36 hours, intestines 8-16 hours. The heart and lung can only live outside of the body for 4-6 hours therefore, would need to be given to someone who lives near the hospital. Other organs that can be donated are; skin, corneas, heart valves, tendons, ligaments cartilage bone, bone marrow, all of these do not have to be donated with a certain time frame they can be preserved and stored for later use.
In conclusion, we talked about the process of organ donation and how organs are matched and given to the recipient. There are more than 6,500 people a year that die before an organ becomes available. (http:/www.donatelife.net/facts_stats.html). A person has eight organs therefore, one donor can save 8 lives. Today, there are more people in need of organs than organs available. Organ donators continue to increase every year although, the number of people needing an organ is increasing which unfortunately leaves a gap in organs available for transplant. As we become more educated on organ donation we may see increase of organ donation in the country.