With such a high percentage of Americans who support organ, eye, and tissue donation, it may come as a surprise that less than 60% are registered donors. Each registered donor brings hope to more than 110,000 people currently in need of lifesaving organ transplants and hundreds of thousands more in need of healing tissue transplants.
The decision to register as an organ, eye and tissue donor is incredibly personal. Additional education helps many understand the importance of this decision.
With tens of thousands of Americans in need of tissue transplants every year and more than 1.75 million tissue transplants performed annually, the need for tissue donors in our country has never been greater. The transformative impact tissue donation has is powerful. Are you curious about tissue donation? You should understand the facts.
We have put together a list of 9 things everyone should know about tissue donation:
1) One Tissue Donor Can Save and Heal More Than 75 Lives
You may be amazed to learn that a single tissue donor can heal more than 75 lives! This statistic is even more poignant when you take into consideration that around one in 20 Americans will require some sort of tissue transplant throughout their lives.
2) Tissue Donation is More Common Than Organ Donation
Most people understand blood and organ donation saves lives. What often gets overlooked is how tissue donation enhances and heals the lives of tens of thousands of Americans each year. Tissue donation helps victims suffering from severe burns, athletes suffering from torn ligaments and those requiring musculoskeletal structures, such as teeth, skin, and spinal components.
3) Tissue Donation Won’t Impact Funeral Arrangements
Family members may be concerned that their loved one’s tissue donation will alter funeral preferences or cause other inconveniences. Tissue donation will not delay any plans or prevent an open-casket funeral. Additionally, there is never any financial cost associated to donation.
4) Various Types of Tissues can be Donated
Many kinds of tissue can be donated when a heroic donor passes away. Tissue types include the corneas, sclera (whites of the eye), heart valves, skin, bone, tendons, and amniotic tissue. These gifts help rebuild thousands of lives each year! Donated corneas help restore sight; bones and tendons can replace tissue and joints; donated veins can help patients with coronary defects; heart valves can ensure a child’s heart pumps the way it should their entire life.
5) Donated Tissues can be Transplanted for up to Five Years
Many assume donated tissue must be utilized immediately, but that is false. Tissue can be processed and stored for an extended period.
6) Donated Tissues Save and Heal Burn Victims
Roughly 50% of burn victims require donated skin after their injuries. Skin grafts for burn victims involve the injured tissue being removed and replaced with healthy tissue from a heroic donor. This type of tissue donation greatly improves their quality of life.
7) Military Personnel Benefit from Tissue Donation After Combat Injuries
Due to the risks associated with their service, military personnel have an increased likelihood of sustaining injuries. It comes as no surprise that donated tissue plays a key role in healing injuries that military personnel have sustained during combat. This includes bone grafts after amputation and more.
8) Tissue Recovery Must Occur Within 24 Hours of a Heroic Donor’s Death
While tissue can be stored for up to five years, the recovery must be initiated and completed within 24 hours of their passing to ensure the tissue is healthy and safe for transplantation.
9) 90% of Americans Support Donation, but Only 60% are Registered
Have You Registered to #BeAHero?
There are many reasons to register as an organ, eye, and tissue donor. What better gift is there? If you support donation, but have not yet registered, it’s never too late. Regardless of age, race or medical conditions – everyone has the power to give hope by simply saying ‘YES.’ If you would like to become an organ, eye and tissue donor or know someone who may be interested, click here to register today.