Organ Donor Day or National Donor Day is February 14th
Give a heart, save a life. February 14 is annual National Donor Day, a day of observance for the education and spreading of awareness of organ, eye, and tissue donation. Hundreds of thousands of patients live in anticipation of a life-saving organ donation. We can all do our part through knowledge, understanding, and enlisting as a donor. A moment is all it costs to give a gift of hope.
History of Organ Donor Day
Created in 1998 by the Saturn Corporation and sponsored by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and other nonprofit organizations, National Donor Day focuses on five points: organs, tissues, marrow, platelets, and blood. The goal of Donor Day is to increase the general peoples’ understanding of the organ donation process. Nearly 120,000 patients stand by on a waiting list for a lifesaving organ, but not everyone receives the help they need. On average, 20 waitlist patients die daily. National Donor Day aims to change this narrative by increasing the number of registered organ donors and honor those who have given or received a lifesaving transplant.
More On Organ Donation
An organ donation is not as simple as 1-2-3. There are numerous factors in matching the right donor with the right recipient. Organs that can be transplanted include the heart, liver, lungs, pancreas, intestines, and kidneys. But organs are not the only things that be transplanted: corneas, bone, skin, and heart valves are used to repair sight and restore health. When a person’s organ fails, they are evaluated at a transplant center to see if they are eligible for a transplant. If they check out, they go on the National Transplant Waiting List. A national system then matches patients with potential donors. Although each organ has specific issues to consider when transplanting, there are several common factors across all organs, e.g., blood type, body size, tissue type, the patient’s condition, time on the waitlist, the distance between the donor and patient, and how sick the patient is. Organ or tissue donations can come from either the living or dead. Four out of every ten donations come from a living donor; that’s nearly 6,000 donations! One of two kidneys and portions of the lungs, liver, pancreas, or intestines can come from a live donor. In death, a registered donor’s organs can give life to as many as eight people. Eye and tissue donations can also go on to improve the lives of 50 people or more!
How to Observe Organ Donor Day
If you’re not already an organ donor, register here: