EDUCATION

Facts/Questions
Today a severe shortage of organs for transplantation exists in our country. Despite continuing efforts at public education, misconceptions and inaccuracies about donation still exist. Deciding against donation based on inaccurate information is a tragedy.
Q.

If emergency room doctors know you're an organ donor, will they work as hard to save you?

A.

If you are sick or injured and admitted to the hospital, the number one priority is to save your life. Organ donation can only be considered after brain death has been declared by a physician. Oklahoma has adopted legislation allowing individuals to legally designate their wish to be a donor should brain death occur. See Legislation to learn more about these laws in the state of Oklahoma.

Q.

What does the term brain death mean?

A.

Brain death is the total and irreversible loss of brain function, including the brain stem. Brain death means the person is dead. Types of injuries that can lead to brain death are gunshot wound to the head, head trauma (motor vehicle accident or fall, stroke, tumors in head), intracranial bleed (aneurysm or trauma to the head) and anoxic brain injuries (any injury that would not allow your brain oxygen) such as drowning.

Q.

Where are you able to sign up to be an organ, eye and tissue donor?

A.

You can sign up several places to be an organ, eye and tissue donor. When you go to a tag agent or the Department of Public Safety (DPS) to get your driver's license or state ID card, you have the option to sign up. You also have the option to sign up online at www.lifeshareregistry.org or can call 800-826-LIFE for information to be mailed to you.

Q.

Does certain history of medical illness mean your organs or tissues are unfit for donation?

A.

At the time of death, the appropriate medical professionals will review your medical and social history to determine whether you will be a candidate for donation. Each potential donor is evaluated on a case by case basis. With recent advances in transplantation, more people have the opportunity to become donors.

Q.

When do you become too old to be a donor?

A.

People of all ages and medical histories will be considered as potential donors. Your medical condition at the time of death will determine which organs and tissue can be donated.

Q.

Does my family have to pay for organ donation?

A.

No. Once a physician pronounces you brain dead and appropriate medical professionals review your case for organ donation, LifeShare Transplant Donor Services of Oklahoma pays for all procedures, tests or evaluations needed for donation. Funeral costs remain the responsibility of the family.

Q.

What organs are people able to donate that can help others?

A.

Organs which are transplantable are heart, lungs, liver, kidneys, pancreas and intestines. Tissues that can be donated include eyes, skin, bone, heart valves, veins/arteries and tendons. For further explanation of each of these organs and tissues click here.

Q.

Does organ donation disfigure the body or change the way it looks in the casket?

A.

Donation does not change the appearance of the body for the funeral service.

Q.

If I sign up to be an organ, eye and tissue donor at a tag agent or the Department of Public Safety (DPS), do I also need to sign up online?

A.

If you indicate your wish to be an organ, eye and tissue donor at a tag agent or DPS when you get your license or state ID card, you will be added to the registry automatically. LifeShare of Oklahoma encourages you to sign up again so that you can tell others about the online registration process. We also urge you to talk with you family about your decision to become a donor.

Q.

Do celebrities and people with money get transplanted more quickly than those without?

A.

The placement of organs is done from a national list starting with our state. The order in which the list is kept is based upon severity of the recipients illness, time spent waiting, blood type, and other important medical information.

Q.

Do some religions prohibit donation?

A.

All major organized religions approve of organ and tissue donation and consider it an act of charity.

Q.

Can your family override your wish to be a donor?

A.

Because of our state's First Person Consent law, it is not necessary to get permission from the family if a person has expressed his or her desire to be a donor in a "document of gift", such as a driver's license, state ID card, donor card or enrollment in Oklahoma's online donor registry, the LifeShare Donor Registry. We strongly believe that a person's wish to donate must be honored, if medically possible. Organ and tissue recovery coordinators will always talk to the family about the donation before it takes place. Oklahomans are urged to share their decision to be a donor with their families.

If you are under 18, you may declare your intent to be a donor in any document of gift, however, permission from a parent or guardian must be obtained before donation can actually take place.

RELATED LINKS
Sign Up on the LifeShare Donor Registry, it just takes a few minutes.

Register to Volunteer with the LifeShare Transplant Donor Services of Oklahoma.

 



2004 LifeShare Transplant Donor Services of Oklahoma. All Rights Reserved.   Privacy Policy   Legal Terms