Amy Kroos, Registered Nurse – OSF Saint Anthony Palliative Care
Organ Donation Facts
- According to the United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS), there are more than 116,000 persons on the national transplant waiting list.
- 20 persons die each day waiting for a lifesaving organ transplant.
- Every 14 minutes, a new name is added to the national waiting list.
Exploring Beliefs About Organ Donation
It is vital to discuss and empower our community to explore their beliefs about organ donation. These are difficult conversations and should be documented in our advance directives.
When discussing organ donation with families, we would like to make sure they understand the process and outcomes of donation. It is important to make sure our patients understand that all lifesaving efforts are made to save a person’s life without regard to their status as an organ/tissue donor.
It is only after these efforts have failed and someone is declared dead that recovery efforts begin.
The Organ Donation Process
Trained staff will work with the family, explaining the process, gathering information and providing support.
If he/she is not in the First Person Consent registry, family will be educated about the process and asked for consent to donate. If the patient has completed an advance directive, this document also supports their wishes and values about organ donation.
Discussing organ donation with family members can be uncomfortable and difficult. However, it is an important step to ensure that your final wishes are carried out. Talking to your loved ones about your wishes in case of a tragic event or illness, including your choice to be an organ donor can be helpful information for them to know.
Knowing your views on organ donation allows your family to understand the process of organ donation during their time of loss. Be sure to share your decision to become an organ and tissue donor with your family. Understanding the process can make this conversation easier.
OSF Care Decisions offers trained facilitators that can help with documenting your health care wishes including organ donation.
Organ Donation Resources
The following online resources are available for those who are interested in learning more about organ donation.