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April is National Donate Life Month

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ST. LOUIS -  April is National Donate Life Month, and studies show that one organ and tissue donor can save up to eight lives.

NDLM features an entire month of local, regional and national activities to help encourage Americans to register as organ, eye and tissue donors and to celebrate those that have saved lives through the gift of donation.

Doctor Derek Byers a  Washington University (lung) Pulmonologist at Barnes-Jewish Hospital discusses how can you get on a list to become a donor and the myths associated with organ donation.

The Washington University and Barnes-Jewish Transplant Center is one of the largest in the country.  They perform hundreds of transplants each year; including heart, kidney, liver, lung and pancreas transplants.

For more information call 314-362-5365.


Common Organ Donation Myths

 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.

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.

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

Myth 3: In an emergency, the doctors may not do everything to save me. My organs will be sold on the black market

  • 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.

  • 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.

Myth 5: I`d like to donate one of my kidneys now, but no one in my family needs a kidney.

  • Whether it`s a distant family member, friend or complete stranger you want to help, you can donate a kidney through certain transplant centers, including ours at Washington University and Barnes-Jewish Transplant Center. If you decide to become a living donor, you will undergo extensive questioning to ensure that you are aware of the risks. You will also undergo testing to determine if your kidneys are in good shape and whether you can live a healthy life with just one kidney.


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