As a people, we have become safer and lived longer thanks to huge advancements in medical technology and procedures. The unfortunate side effect of these great advancements in medical science is that there are fewer and fewer organs available for transplant. As of 2018, the US population sat at 326,766,748 people and is growing at a steady .71% annually. With the population growing steadily, the organ supply could easily be managed, but there are two major hurdles to overcome: the lack of registered donors and the difficulty in obtaining organs from registered donors. If you have any interest in organ donation or want to register as a donor today, visit the LifeCenter website today to talk to one of our donation ambassadors.
Lack of Registered Donors
As of January 2019, there were over 113,000 people on the national waiting list in need of an organ. Every 10 minutes another person is added to the waiting list, and every day 20 people on the waiting list pass away waiting for an organ he or she desperately needs. The reality is that most people in the U.S. support organ donation, with 95% of adults in favor of organ donation and transplantation. Even though 95% of people support organ donation, only 58% of people are actually registered as organ donors. There are two main reasons for this lack of registration.
The first reason is that people can get nervous about registering as an organ donor. There are a lot of misconceptions and myths that involve organ donation ranging from the idea that your religion frowns on organ donation to the idea that doctors will not save your life as a donor. These myths could not be further from the truth. As an organ donor, you will always receive the same treatment as a non-donor and most religions smile on the idea of giving organs as a truly selfless act.
The other reason that there is such a discrepancy between the approval rating and the number of registered donors is the fact that it can be difficult to register as a donor. Most people only think about becoming an organ donor when they go into the DMV to get their licensed renewed. Let’s be honest, most of us aren’t in the best mood when we are at the DMV, which could make people less inclined to be so selfless.
Difficulties in Obtaining Organs
The second side effect of us becoming more advanced with our medical treatments is that organs have become more difficult to obtain. People are living longer and our treatments are getting more advanced, which is phenomenal for us as a people, but it means that organs are harder to come by. Only 3 out of every 1,000 people die in a way that allows for organ donation. That means that of the 145 million currently registered organ donors, only 435,000 will die in a way that will allow for organ donation. Unfortunately, the list of donors has not been able to keep up with the need, and more living and deceased donors are needed, especially for kidneys, the most needed organ on the waiting list.
There are tons of great ways to get involved in the organ donation community. If organ donation has affected you or your family, you can spread the word on social media, volunteer, or get in contact with one of the LifeCenter ambassadors. Organ donors are needed now more than ever; click here to register as an organ donor today.