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Organ & Tissue Donation Facts

Last year, nearly 28,000 lives were saved due to the generosity of organ donors. Today, more than 118,000 children and adults await lifesaving transplants. In Florida alone, more than 4,000 people are registered on the transplant waiting list. Every 10 minutes another name is added to the national transplant waiting list, and an average of 19 lives are lost each day due to the lack of organs available for transplant.

You can save a life. People of all ages can register to become an organ and tissue donor.

Your life is always the first priority. If you are sick or injured and admitted to the hospital, you will receive the same level of care regardless of donor designation. The doctors treating you are not involved with transplant programs or possible recipients. This fact is both law and ethical medical practice. Donation of organs and tissues takes place only after all lifesaving efforts have been exhausted, death has been legally declared, and donor designation has been confirmed.

There is no cost for donation. All costs related to donation are the responsibility of the organ procurement organization. The donor family is not responsible for any fees associated with donation.

Matches are based solely on medical and geographic factors. An individual's wealth and social status are never part of the determination of who will receive a lifesaving organ transplant. A national computerized matching system is used to place available organs with potential recipients. Matches are based on the length of time a patient has been waiting, medical compatibility, and the distance involved in transporting the organs to critically ill patients. National policies govern the sharing of organs in the United States to ensure all patients fair and equal access to transplantation.

Donation does not change physical appearance. Surgical procedures are utilized to recover lifesaving organ and tissue donations. The body is always treated with great care and respect.

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