Part of You Lives on

by T-Knox

Over 100,000 people are waiting for organ donations in North America every year.

There is no telling when and what may happen to us, however you can decide what happens to some of you. The government of Ontario, Canada is now providing an online database to register for organ and tissue donation. The online service is an alternative for the previous paper cards issued. The donor card may not be handy and this way your wishes are known to family and friends.

The choice of what you would like to donate is yours. However your family may have other wishes. For the most part families abide by what their loved one wanted. Nonetheless by registering online it will counter families having to make a difficult decision on your behalf.

Little is it known that the circumstances for someone to donate are few and far between. The donor must die in hospital on life support in order to be a suitable donor. Tissue donation does not have as many restrictions, the possible donor could have died outside the hospital’s walls and still be able to donate if the tissue is viable. Organ donation itself is rare, therefore it is important to give the issue considerable thought.

If death is imminent or has occurred medical staff will discuss with the family the possibility of organ donation. Your choice is confirmed with your family at the time of death. Testing is done to determine if organs and tissue are usable for transplant and reference the database to match them with recipients. The donor’s medical and social history is also reviewed with the family. The imperative questions asked are similar in nature to those in the blood donation questionnaire.

In most cases the organs are harvested within 24 hours in an operating room. Funeral plans should not be interrupted whatsoever, and it will occur while the family is making funeral arrangements. Healthcare workers and the Trillium Gift of Life Network alike work to make sure the donation can enhance the lives as many people as possible.

There are several misconceptions surrounding organ donation, here are all your queries resolved:

* Many may think that anyone who dies can become an organ donor, however you have to die on life-support in a hospital to be a candidate. This is less than 2% of people who die each year. Moreover, almost anyone is eligible to be a tissue donor. No matter sexual orientation, age, condition tissue does not discriminate.

* Rumor has it that if you agree to be an organ donor, and wind up in the hospital they may not work to save your life. Any nurse, doctor, and other healthcare workers’ priorities, first and foremost, is saving lives and caring for the ill. Only if all efforts of saving your life have been tried and tried again and failed, will the possibility of organ donation arise.

* Another myth is that there is a chance you may not be dead when your organs are retrieved. This could not be further from the truth. If you are registered to be an organ donor there are more tests completed to confirm the death than tests done on a person who chose not to donate.

* Some have been lead to believe that if they wear glasses they cannot donate their eyes. Eyesight problems usually do not affect cornea donation. The cornea is the clear front on the eye, that generally doesn’t make people have to get glasses.

* Having a medical condition makes you ineligible to donate, yet everyone is a possible donor. Regardless of previous medical bouts, there is the chance you could be eligible.

* If I have received an organ donation or do in the future I cannot donate. Truth be told, that if you are an organ recipient you can donate.

Underneath it all, the decision to be an organ donor should not be influenced by whether or not you think you can, everyone and anyone could be.

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