Save lives! Become an organ donor!
Donating an organ is probably one of the kindest altruist acts that a human being can do. It not only allows to save the life of the recipient, but also gives hope to all those patients that need a new organ in order to survive and keep going with their lives.
Last Wednesday, June 5th, we celebrated the National Day of the Organ and Tissue Donor and, to commemorate it, we want to raise awareness about the need to keep increasing the number of organ donations.
Although the number of organ donors has risen lately, there is still an increasing need of them, since waiting lists are getting longer and longer over time.
For this reason, in this article we are going to explain you everything you need to know if you want to become an organ donor and, at the same time, we are going to clear up some doubts and fears that could come to your mind when donating an organ.
Donating organs after death
Most of the donors are people who agree to donate their organs after their death, since they are not going to need them anymore. After death, there will be no pain nor any side effects, so it is so easy to make the decision of donating an organ once you have passed away.
Actually, in Spain, any person is considered a donor after death if he or she has not expressed the desire of not donating any organ while alive. However, as it is impossible to ask the person once he or she has passed away, the last decision will usually fall on the family, assuming that they will preserve the donor will.
What is more, even if you have expressed your willingness of donating your organs after your death, you will only be able to do so if you pass away in an intensive care unit of a hospital, since that is the only way the specialist will be able to preserve your organs for their later transplant.
As we said before, the demand of donated organs is extremely high and the number of current donors is not enough to satisfy it. That is why, if you do not express the contrary while being alive, all your vital organs and tissues will be used for saving others lives.
The most common donated organs are the kidneys, the liver, the heart, the pancreas, the stomach, the intestine and the lungs, as well as other tissues like bones, corneas and heart valves. If you are interested in keeping an organ or tissue after death, you should tell your family, who will express it to the doctors.
Can you donate in life?
Of course! You can donate some of your organs and still live a normal life!
Indeed, the vast majority of the organ donations in life are done between family members and close friends. Nevertheless, there are still some heroes that decide to donate an organ or tissue without knowing who will be the recipient.
While alive, you can donate one of your kidneys, lungs or lobes of the liver or a piece of your pancreas or intestines. Some of these organs have the ability to regenerate themselves and, even if not, they can still be totally functional.
You can also donate some tissues in life, like skin, bone, blood, bone marrow, stem cells or the amniotic sac after giving birth. Most of these tissues will be easily replaced if you stay healthy. What is more, you can even donate blood and bone marrow many times in your life!
How can you become a donor in life?
If you want to donate an organ or tissue, either to a known or an unknown person, you should go to the nearest hospital, where you will be evaluated in order to know if you are a suitable donor.
This evaluation is done to make sure you will not suffer any physical or psychologic damage due to the donation. However, if you are more than 18 and less than 60 years old, you enjoy a good health and you have not gone through diabetes, cancer, hypertension or a renal or heart disease, you should be capable of donating an organ.
You should know that the process of donating an organ is an important surgery procedure, so, even if unlikely, there is still a low probability of complications to happen. Nonetheless, most of these surgeries are carried out without any kind of problem.
Furthermore, after your organ has been removed, you will need some time to recover before going back to your daily activities. But, when wholly recovered, you will probably be able to live a normal life and enjoy good health for a long time.
Be a hero!
Donors in life are people who have decided to help others to live, risking their health in the process. But those who have made the decision to donate an organ after death are no less! All of them must be treated as what they are, actual heroes!
In Clinica Excelan we are absolutely committed to organ donations, so we want to encourage you to be one of those invisible heroes that every day help others to keep on living.
And, if you do not dare donating, do not worry. You can still donate them after your death!
Every year, there are millions of people in the world who make the right decision and choose to save other people lives…
And you? Are you an organ donor?
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