Organ & Tissue Donation
Need for Organ and Tissue Donation
In Michigan, more than 3,000 people are in need of a life-saving organ transplant. Nationwide, more than 100,000 people face that same dire need. Many, many more also await life-enhancing tissue and cornea transplants. Organ and tissue transplantation is a routine practice that can dramatically improve -- and even save -- the lives of those suffering from vital organ failure, or those suffering from bone defects, burns and blindness. Given this second chance, transplant recipients return to normal, productive lives.
IMPROVED surgical techniques and new anti-rejection drugs now permit successful transplantation of organs and tissues, such as heart, lung, kidney, liver, pancreas, cornea, bone, skin and other soft tissues.
For many diseases, organ transplantation is the only accepted medical treatment to offer a chance of survival.
Heart and liver donations are a matter of immediate life and death. Donated kidneys eliminate weekly dialysis treatments. A donated pancreas may "cure" someone's diabetes. Donated eyes not only provide corneas for sight-restoring corneal transplantations but also vital eye tissue for other surgical procedures and for research into blinding eye disorders.
Bone transplants may avert a need for amputation; skin donations save the lives of severe burn victims. State, regional and national computerized networks keep track of potential recipients.
Transplant recipients are selected on the basis of medical criteria, urgency of need and length of waiting time.
We need a strong donor program. Anyone may be a candidate for a transplant in the future, perhaps a member of your own family.
Help spread the "gift of life" by being an organ and tissue donor. Sign up on the Michigan Organ Donor Registry at www.giftoflifemichigan.org; you'll receive a heart sticker for your driver's license or state I.D. card to demonstrate your decision to give so that others may live.