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You Could Save Lives

You Could Save Lives

You don’t need to be a superhero to save people’s lives. In fact, saving lives can be very simple through the gift of organ donation. Thousands of people die each year waiting for an organ replacement—about 7,200 to be exact. Right now, around 98,000 people are waiting and depending on the kindness of strangers willing to donate their organs in the event of their death.

Unfortunately, the biggest obstacle in organ donation is that demand will always be much higher than supply. That’s because to donate an organ, the deceased must have died from brain-related causes, which is only 1% of the U.S. population. On top of that, only 60% of those cases opt to be organ donors. So even if everyone was to become an organ donor, not everyone’s organs could be used. Even still, every bit helps, and you never know if you’ll be in that 1%.

For those who do receive an organ transplant, such as a new kidney after a kidney failure health diagnosis, the challenge is making sure the body accepts the new organ. The recipient often must take many medications that usually have severe side effects and leave them more vulnerable to infections. However, researchers are excited about new treatments that help prevent organ rejection and could end the use of multiple medications. But before these advances can be put into place, doctors still need willing volunteers to donate their organs.

Are you an organ donor already? Would you consider becoming one, and if not, why? [HealthDay]

Posted: 6/30/08