The Need:

  • There are more than 112,000 individuals waiting for organs in the U.S. and an estimated 11,000 living in the State of Texas.
  • There are more than 28,000 organ transplants performed each year in the U.S.
  • A new patient, on average, is added every 12 minutes. 8,000 patients will die every year, an average of 18 per day.

Transplantation:

  • Transplantation of organs is no longer considered experimental, but is an accepted treatment of certain end-stage diseases.
  • All efforts are made to ensure the use of donated organs and tissues for people on the waiting list.
  • Organs are offered to people on the waiting list based solely on medical and waiting time factors, regardless of their financial or social standing.

Consent:

  • Permission from the next-of-kin is always obtained prior to the recovery of organs and tissue, if the potential donor is not on a state registry.
  • No donation can happen until a declaration of death has been made and the family of the donor has given permission for donation.

Care of the Patient Before Donation:

  • Every effort to save an individual’s life is performed before a patient is considered a potential donor.
  • Transplant physicians are not involved in the determination of death in brain dead patients; death is pronounced by physicians who are in no way involved in the transplant process.
  • Death is not pronounced prematurely in order for the individual to become an organ donor.
  • Organ and tissue recovery is done as a sterile, surgical procedure and is in no way different from routine surgery of living patients.

Costs:

  • It does not cost anything to be a donor. No costs directly related to organ and tissue donation are passed on to the family. An Organ Procurement Organization (OPO), such as the Texas Organ Sharing Alliance, pays these costs.
  • OPOs are non-profit organizations.
  • The buying and selling of human organs is illegal.