Organ donation saves lives
“We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give,” Winston Churchill once said. Successful organ and tissue donation has been around since 1954.
Organ donation is a vast and growing need with 550 currently waiting for organ donations in Iowa alone.
Iowa Donor Network is Iowa’s DSA (Designated Service Area) for organ donation.
“The need for organ donors in Iowa is so great, and it’s an easy way to save some ones life,” Sheanne Schultz, the Mercy representative for this area’s organ donation, said.
Despite the growing need for organ donations, some Iowans are hesitant to donate because of the myths surrounding tissue and organ transplants.
“Some believe that doctors aren’t going to treat patients as well if they are organ donors, but this is so far from the truth,” Schultz said.
In fact, in order to be a part of the donor process one must be pronounced brain dead.
“The steps for a patient to be pronounced brain dead are more strict than regular hospital rules,” Schultz said about the process.
Two doctors have to go through a series of steps separately with not one of the steps being unchecked.
Once all the tests are done and accurately marked, only then can a patient be pronounced brain dead, and have the organs transferred for donation.
The Iowa Donor Network has taken statistics of those Iowans who are in need of organ donations.
In Iowa two people are waiting for a pancreas, six for lungs, seven for kidneys/pancreas, 21 people waiting for hearts, 64 for livers, and an astounding 496 people waiting for kidneys at press time. The need for organ donors in Iowa is tremendous.
On average, there are only about 50 donations a year in Iowa.
Nationally, 9,000 people die a year waiting for an organ donation.
Iowa has almost 1,300,000 donors, but that is not even enough to save those waiting for a piece of life.
It’s easy to become an Iowa donor if one hasn’t already become one.
Log onto www.IowaDonorNetwork.com and click on the Iowa Donor Registry link.
One can sign up to be an Iowa donor and even create a checklist of what the individual would like to donate.
“Every donation doesn’t just count, it literally saves a life,” Schultz said.