March 28, 2024

April is National Donate Life Month

Blog graphic for National Donate Life Month

What is Donate Life Month?

National Donate Life Month happens during the month of April to remind you of your decision to be a donor, to honor deceased and living donors, and to celebrate the lives these donors have saved. This month of observance focuses our attention on the need for and importance of organ, eye, and tissue donation. Organ, eye, and tissue donations can provide solace to a family and relieve the burden of making the donation decision in a time of grief and shock. You alone can help save up to eight lives, restore sight to two people through cornea donation, and heal more than 75 lives, through tissue donation.

How to become a donor

You can help save lives by registering to be an organ, eye, and tissue donor at your local DMV or online through your state registry. More than 100,000 people are waiting for lifesaving organ transplants every day. Out of those 100,000, more than 85% of patients need a kidney transplant. In 2023, 6,953 more lives were saved through the generosity of living donors. You should consider becoming a donor!

Who can be a donor?

People of any age and medical history can be potential donors. To be a donor, blood and oxygen must flow through the organs until the time of recovery to ensure viability. Your condition at the time of death will ultimately determine what organs and/or tissues can be donated. The organs that can be considered for donation are the heart, kidneys, liver, lungs, and pancreas. Skin, bone, and ligaments can also be donated as they help repair defects and injuries, promote faster healing, prevent amputations, and save the lives of people with severe burn injuries.

Deceased Donations versus Living Donations

There are a few different types of donations, two of them being a deceased donation and a living donation. A deceased donation includes organ, cornea, and tissue donations. This is the process of giving an organ or part of an organ at the time of the donor’s death, for transplantation to another person. When someone’s organs fail, they are evaluated for a potential transplant and placed on a national waiting list, which is very long, and not everyone survives the wait. Living organ donations offer another choice for some transplant candidates, reducing their time on the waiting list and leading to better long-term outcomes for the recipient. Living tissue donation is used to promote healing and to treat burns and/or painful wounds.