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Organ Donation

Questions About Organ Donation? We Have the Answers.

According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, there are currently more than 113,000 candidates for transplant on the U.S. national waiting list.

What’s more, the number of people in need of a transplant is growing much faster than the number of registered donors.

April is National Donate Life Month, which celebrates the incredible generosity of those who save lives by becoming organ, tissue, marrow and blood donors. This month is also a time to encourage others to learn about organ donation and consider becoming a registered donor.

Unsure if organ donation is right for you? Read some of the most common questions about donation and get the facts about becoming a registered donor.


Who can be a donor?

Any adult can become a registered organ, eye, and tissue donor, regardless of age, race, ethnicity, or health. Even if you have a health condition, you are likely still eligible to donate your organs upon death. There are very few conditions, such as active cancer, that would prevent you from becoming a donor. Talk to your doctor if you are unsure if you would be eligible.

What organs can be donated?

Along with eye, tissue, blood, and bone marrow, there are multiple organs that can be donated to give life to someone else. These organs include the heart, lung, kidneys, liver, and more. However, not every registered donor is eligible to donate at the time of death, which is why it is so important to have as many registered donors as possible.

Will being a registered donor affect the level of care I receive at the hospital?

No! If the situation arises, your medical team will do everything possible to save your life before donation is ever considered. In fact, the medical team treating you would be a different group of people than the transplant team.

Does donating cost money?

Any costs related to organ donation will be paid by the recipient—typically through insurance, Medicare, or Medicaid. The donor’s family is not responsible for any donation costs.

We understand that the decision to become a registered donor is not taken lightly. If you have questions about becoming an organ, tissue or cornea donor, you can contact El Camino Health or Donor Network West to learn more. If you have already decided that you want to become a donor, the first step is to sign up as an organ or tissue donor with Donate Life California, the state-authorized registry.


This article first appeared in the April 2019 edition of the HealthPerks newsletter.

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