Organ Donations on the Rise in the U.S.

When Nurse Jackie (Edie Falco) -- from the Showtime original series by the same name -- a married mother of two, was shagging her hospital’s pharmacologist, fans suspected it was just to support her oxycodone habit. So when Jackie forged a document to make a newly deceased patient an organ donor, many viewers saw this as the character’s struggle to let her inner goodness win out over, well, her not-so-goodness.

In the real world, at least, that goodness -- organ donation -- is winning. From 2005 to 2012, the percentage of people who checked the organ donor box on the back of their driver’s license went from around 50 to 60 percent. And in 2015 the U.S. hosted the world’s largest living donor kidney transplant chain – 70! (A kidney transplant chain usually starts when a person wishes to donate a kidney to a loved one but isn’t a match. That person agrees to donate a kidney to a general pool so their loved one can receive a kidney from that same pool.)

But we can do more. Currently 121,445 people in the U.S. are waiting for an organ. And although 79 people a day do receive a transplant, at least 20 people die waiting.

And by donating your organs, you’re not just saving a life -- or many lives -- you could be saving someone’s quality of life too. Although internal organs can’t be stored, skin, corneas, the middle ear, heart valves, bone, veins, cartilage, tendons, and ligaments can. And they can restore someone’s hearing, vision, appearance, and mobility. So go to today and make someone’s tomorrow.

Kidney Transplant

One of the most common transplant procedures in the United States, kidney transplantation is a treatment option for those with advanced and permanent kidney failure. The first kidney transplant was performed in the 1950s, and sinc...

nce then doctors have learn much about minimizing the side effects of medications and how to prevent the body from rejecting the new organ. Healthy kidneys remove wastes and excess fluids from blood, which balances out the chemicals in the blood and keep it clean. When the kidneys fail, the body is unable to remove the harmful wastes and they could damage the body. Kidney transplantation is not for everyone. Certain conditions make the procedure too dangerous or unlikely to be successful.