Myths and facts about organ donation

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ST. LOUIS, MO (KTVI)- April is Donate Life Month, which is a good reminder of how important organ and tissue donation is to our community and around the world.

According to the Organ Procurement and Transplant Network, more than 120,000 people are waiting for an organ and a new person joins the list every 10 minutes.

Every person that signs up to be a donor can save up to eight lives.

Jason Wellen, M.D., M.B.A., Surgical Director of the combined Kidney/Pancreas Program at the Washington University and Barnes-Jewish Transplant Center, along with Mark Mastroianni, former kidney and pancreas transplant patient, clear up the misconceptions about donating.

Myth 1: I signed the back of my driver`s license so i don`t need to tell anyone that i want to be an organ donor.

Fact: By the time your will is read or doctors see your driver`s license or donor card, it may be too late to recover your organs and/or tissue. Telling your family, now, that you want to be an organ and tissue donor and enrolling, today, in the organ and tissue donor registry is the best way to ensure that your wishes are carried out.

Myth 2: I am too old or too sick to become an organ and tissue donor.

Fact: Anyone can be a potential organ and tissue donor regardless of age, race, demographics or medical history.

Myth 3: In case of an emergency, the doctors may not do everything to save me.

Fact: If you are sick or injured and admitted to the hospital, the number one priority is to save your life. Organ and tissue donation can only be considered after all life-saving options have been explored.

Myth 4: Only hearts, livers and kidneys can be transplanted.

Fact: Needed organs include the heart, kidneys, pancreas, lungs, liver and intestines.
Tissue that can be donated includes the eyes, skin, bone, heart valves and tendons.

For more information visit: barnesjewish.org/transplant  or organdonor.gov