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The Facts About Organ, Eye and Tissue Donation

Although there have been great advances in medical technology and donation, the need for organ, eye and tissue donation still vastly exceeds the number of donors. Get the facts and help us dispel myths about donation.

I'm not in the best of health. Nobody would want my organs or tissues
"I'm not in the best of health. Nobody would want my organs or tissues."
The Facts:  

Very few medical conditions automatically disqualify you from donating organs. The decision to use an organ is based on strict medical criteria. It may turn out that certain organs are not suitable for transplantation, but other organs and tissues may be fine. Don't disqualify yourself prematurely. Only medical professionals at the time of your death can determine whether your organs are suitable for transplantation.

Rich and famous people go to the top of the list when they need a donor organ
"Rich and famous people go to the top of the list when they need a donor organ."
The Facts:  

The rich and famous aren't given priority when it comes to allocating organs. It may seem that way because of the amount of publicity generated when celebrities receive a transplant, but they are treated no differently from anyone else. When patients are on the waiting list for an organ transplant, their position on that list is based on the severity of their illness, time spent waiting, blood type and other important medical information. Social and financial status are never a factor in this process.

"Hospitals or first responders won't save me if I'm a registered donor."
The Facts:  
If you are sick or injured, the primary duty of emergency responders and hospital staff is to save your life. Your donor designation NEVER interferes with your medical care.  Only Donate Life Maryland professionals have access to the official Maryland Donor Registry.
 

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Statistics

More than 1 million tissue transplants are done each year and the surgical need for tissue has been steadily rising.

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Common Questions

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