Organ Donation 101: 7 Essential Facts You Need to Know

Wondering about what donating an organ entails? Perhaps you have heard about it from a relative or friend who is in need of an organ transplant, or you have read about it on the internet.

If you are considering to register as an organ donor, here are the important facts you need to know and understand before you make that major life decision.

1.  Anyone can become an organ donor

Regardless of age, just about any healthy individual can donate an organ. Prospective donors below 18 years old need to obtain consent from their parents or guardians.

However, people with the following serious health conditions cannot donate an organ:

  • Kidney disease
  • Heart disease
  • Cancer
  • HIV
  • Severe infection
  • Diabetes

For organ donation after death, the possible donor’s age and medical history are assessed first to determine his or her suitability as a candidate.

2. Donating an organ will not cause you health issues in the future

You can part of your lung, pancreas, or intestines without having to suffer from health problems in the long run. You can even donate one of your kidneys. Why? Because your body has its mechanism for making up for the missing part of your organ.

Before anyone can donate an organ, a medical assessment will be done to see if the person is fit for an organ donation. If the evaluation shows a possibility that your health will be affected because of donating an organ, then you will not be allowed to do so for your own safety.

3. Organ donation will not incur any cost to you or your family

You and your family should not bear the expenses for the tests and surgery for removal of an organ. These costs are most likely covered by the organ recipient’s insurance.

4. A variety of organs and tissues can be donated and transplanted

They include the following:

  • Kidney
  • Lung
  • Liver
  • Heart
  • Pancreas
  • Cornea
  • Intestine
  • Bone
  • Skin
  • Bone marrow
  • Connective tissue
  • Middle ear
  • Heart valve

5. It is illegal to pay someone in exchange of an organ

Payment should not be expected from giving your organ or tissue for transplant. However, you will not shoulder the costs of your tests, hospitalization, and surgery—they should be covered by the recipient or the transplant program. 6. Being an organ donor will and should not affect the quality of medical care you will be given

You physician and his or her medical team will exert a maximum effort to save your life when you are in a critical condition. That team is separate from the transplant team, so you can be assured that the quality of your medical care will not be compromised.

7. Organ donation will not distort any part of the body

Removal of an organ for donation is handled and performed by medical professionals who have undergone rigid training. The incisions will be closed, and extreme care will be exercised when handling the organ and the donor’s body.