Organ and Tissue Donation Facts

one donor can save and heal
what organs and tissue can be donated transplanted

1. Your life is always first.
If you are taken to the hospital after an accident or injury, it is the hospital’s number one priority to save YOUR life. Your status as a donor is not even considered until every effort has been made to try to save your life.

2. Everyone can register to be an organ and tissue donor.
Your age or health should not prevent you from registering to be an organ or tissue donor. Most health conditions do not prevent donation and age is not a factor. Let the medical professionals decide what can be recovered and used to save or help someone else.

3.  All faiths agree on organ and tissue donation.
All major religions in the United States support organ and tissue donation and consider it a generous act of caring.

4. There is no cost to your family.
If you decide to be an organ and tissue donor, your family will NOT have to pay for any medical expenses associated with the donation.

5. One donor can help more than 80 people.
Organs that can be donated for transplantation are: kidneys, heart, lungs, liver, pancreas and intestines. Tissues that can be donated include: corneas, heart valves, skin, bone, tendons, cartilage and veins.

6. Everyone is equal.
When it comes to waiting for an organ transplant, the system in place treats us as equals. Rich or famous individuals cannot and do not get priority on the national transplant waiting list. Factors such as blood type, body size, location, severity of illness and length of time on the waiting list are used to determine the best candidate for an organ.

7. Your decision will save lives.
When you register to become an organ and tissue donor you are making a legal donation decision and your decision will save lives. Your decision is an advance directive. It’s important to talk with your family to make sure they are prepared to honor your decision at the time of your death.

8. If you don’t make a decision, your family will.
If you haven’t registered to be an organ and tissue donor, your family will be asked to make a decision on your behalf during a very difficult time. Talking with your family makes them aware of your wishes and can make this decision easier.

9. You will be treated with respect.
The medical professionals who perform the recovery surgeries treat donor patients with the utmost respect, just like they would for any other patient. Open casket funerals are still possible after organ and tissue donation.

10. Registering is easy.
Registering to become an organ and tissue donor is simple. You can register online or when you apply for or renew your driver’s license or state identification card.