Medical Minute

April is National Donate Life Month

Date: 04/09/2019

National Donate Life Month is celebrated every April.  It features local, regional and national activities to educate and encourage Americans to register as organ, eye and tissue donors.  It also honors and celebrates those who have saved and healed lives through the gifts of donation. 

In the United Sates there are more than 100,000 people, men, women and children waiting for lifesaving organ transplants.  About every 10 minutes another person is added to the waiting list.  There is such a need for organs that approximately 22 people die each day waiting for the organs they need. Also, there is a very long wait time for organs and tissues, the average wait time can range from 3-5 years. 

Registration as a donor does not change your patient care.  Doctors and nurses work hard to save every patient’s life.  Unfortunately, sometimes there is complete and irreversible loss of brain function. When the patient is declared clinically and legally dead, only then donation becomes an option. 

Organ and tissue donation are completely free.  A donor’s family is not charged for donation. 

There are a few ways to register to become an organ and tissue donor. When you renew your drivers license, they will ask this question, and you may opt in there. You can also go online to the website and register  as well. 

One donor alone can save up to 8 lives, restore sight to 2 people, and heal the lives of more than 75 people.                                
                                                                      - Tina Tompkins, RN
Liason for New England Donor Services
                                 AR Gould Hospital