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Saturday, April 07, 2007
The U.S. has a severe organ shortage in this country. Despite continuing efforts at public education, mysths about organ and tissue donation persists. It's a tragedy if even one person decides against donation because of a myth. Here is a list of the more common myths along with the facts:

Myth 1: If I am in an accident and the hospital knows that I want to be a donor, the doctors will not try to save my life.
Fact: Organ recovery takes place only after all efforts to save the patient's life have been exhausted and death has been legally declared. The medical team treating the patient is completely separate from the transplant team. The organ procurement organization is not notified untill all lifesaving efforts have failed and death has been determined.

Myth 2: Donation will mutilate the body.
Fact: Donated organs are removed surgically, in a routine operation similar to gallbladder or appendix removal. Donations does'nt disfigure the body or change the way it looks in a casket.

Myth 3: My family will be charged for donating my organs.
Fact: Donation costs nothing to the donor's family or estate.

Myth 4: I've already signed my driver's license. I don't need to do anything else.
Fact: Even if you have a signed donor card, or any other document, you must inform your family of your wishes because they are the ones who will make the final decision. It is easier for them to make that decision if they know you wanted to be a donor.

Myth 5: I am too old (or too young) to donate.
Fact: There are no age restrictions for becoming a donor. The organ bank will evaluate patients on an individual basis. At the time of death, medical professionals will determine if a person's organs can be transplanted.

Myth 6: My religion does not support donation.
Fact: All mainstream organized reglioins approve of organ and tissue donation and consider it an act of charity.

Myth 7: Wealthy people and celebrities are moved to the top of the list faster than "regular" people.
Fact: The organ allocation and distribution system is blind to wealth or social status. The legnth of time it takes to receive a transplant is governed by many factors, incouding blood tupe, severity of illness, length of time on the waiting list, and other medical criteria. Factors such as race, gender, age, income or celebrity status are never considered when determining who receives an organ.

Myth 8: Only heart, liver and kidneys can be transplanted.
Fact: Needed organs include the heart, kidney, pancreas, lungs, liver and intestine. Tissue that can be donated includes the eyes, skin, bone, heart valves and tendons.

Myth 9: I have a history of medical illness. You would not want my organs and tissues.
Fact: At the time of death, the appropriate medical professionals will review your medical and social histories to determine whether or not you can be a donor. Withe recent advances in transplantation, many more people than ever before can be donors. It's best to sign a donor card and tell your family your wishes.

Myth 10: I've heard about a business traveler who is heavily drugged, then awakens to find he has one kidney (or sometimes both) removed for a black market transplant.
Fact: This tale has been widely circulated over the internet. There is absolutely no evidence of such acitivity ever occuring in the United States or any other industrialized country. While the tale may sound credible, ti has no basis in the reality of organ transplantation.

posted by infraternam meam @ 11:43 PM  
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Name: infraternam meam
Home: Chicago, United States
About Me: I am now at the prime of my life and have been married for the past 25 years. Sickly at times, but wants to see the elixir vita, so that I will be able to see my grandchildren from my two boys.
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