From WPTV.com in Florida:
BACKGROUND: In the United States, more than 98,000 men, women and children are waiting for an organ transplant. According to the American Heart Association, a new name is added to the national organ transplant waiting list every 16 minutes. The nonprofit United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS) oversees the national donor list. UNOS has a contract with the Division of Transplantation in the Department of Health and Human Services to uphold the National Organ Transplant Act, a law passed to ensure fairness in the allocation of organs for transplant. The UNOS national list utilizes deceased organ donation, meaning all the organs they allocate to waiting patients come from diseased donors.
THE ALTERNATIVE: Diseased organ donation is extremely important and saves many lives, but living organ donation is equally important. Receiving a live donation is the only alternative to waiting on the diseased list for many patients who are in dire need of a transplant. The practice of live donation dates back to 1954 when a kidney from one twin was successfully transplanted to his brother. Today, more than 6,000 live organ donations take place each year. Organs that can be donated by a living individual include:
- Kidney: The most common type of live donation. There is very little risk to the donor because his or her remaining kidney will do the work of two kidneys.
- Liver: A living donor can donate a segment of his or her liver which will regenerate once transplanted.
- Lung: One lobe of one lung can be donated by a living person.
- Intestine: Although it's very rare, a portion of a person’s intestine can be donated.
- Pancreas: Although it will not regenerate like the liver, a portion of the pancreas can be donated without decreased function for the donor.
- Heart: A domino transplant makes some heart-lung recipients living heart donors. When a patient receives a heart-lung "bloc" from a deceased donor, his or her healthy heart may be donated. This procedure is extremely rare.
- O -- universal donor
- A -- If your blood type is A you can only donate to another person with blood type A or AB
- B -- If your blood type is B you can only donate to blood type B or AB
- AB -- If your blood type is AB than you can only donate to AB alone
COMPATIBILITY: There are some restrictions that may keep live donors from freely donating an organ. Blood and tissue compatibility are the most common. Once blood type is matched, simple tests can be done to determine tissue compatibility. Here's a list of compatible blood types:
For More Information, goto Matching Donors Website.
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