Transplantation, or the process of giving an organ or part of an organ to another person, is one of the most remarkable successes in medicine. But despite advances in technology, the need for organs, tissue and corneas remains much greater than the number available for transplantation.
As of December 2012, more than 115,000 men, women and children in the U.S. were awaiting organ transplants, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, more than 100 million Americans are registered donors.
In the United States, 6 types of organ transplants are commonly performed: kidney, pancreas, liver, heart, lung and intestine. Kidney transplants are the most common type of transplant surgery. Depending on the type of organ or tissue needed, donors can be living or deceased. Matches between donors and recipients are made using several characteristics including blood type, size of the organ needed, the severity of the potential recipient's illness and traveling distance.
Organ transplantation is major surgery that carries potential risks and drawbacks, like the chance of organ rejection. If you think you want to become an organ donor, discuss the topic with your family before making a final decision.
People of all ages and backgrounds can be organ donors. For more information about donation or to sign up to be an organ or tissue donor, visit www.donatelife.net <http://www.donatelife.net>.
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