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Exploring Organ Donation

Contributed By:
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.

Last Updated: January 13, 2020

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About Author: Michael Vujovich

An OSF Mission Partner for over a decade, Michael Vujovich describes himself as a “photo-taking, guitar-playing, web-designing, house-remodeling, Netflix-binging, cat-loving Star Wars geek.”

As Director of Marketing Technology & Multimedia, he oversees a team of digital marketing and multimedia experts who help manage web, social media, photo, video, audio and digital advertising strategies for the OSF Ministry.

Mike earned his Bachelor of Science in Multimedia from Bradley University in 2007 and a Master of Science in Health Administration from the University of St. Francis in 2014.

In his spare time, Mike enjoys reading, traveling and spending time with his wife and their three “fur children”: Marie, Sookie and Bella.

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Categories: Palliative Care & Hospice