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Modern medicine has made possible organ donation andtransplantation. Depending on the age, medical condition and some otherconditions in the time of death, family of a deceased or a deceased person him/herself (ifhe or she has a donor card), may donate the organs of the body to betransplanted to someone who needs them. So far, surgeons are able to transplantthe eyes, lungs, heart, liver, kidneys, small intestine and pancreas.

Every year the number of deceased organ donors increase. Justin the USA, there are more than 8.000 organ donors (according to the statisticsfrom 2006). Kidney and liver donations are on the top of the list, with morethan 7.000 donations each, but there are also more than 2.000 heart andpancreas donations.

Who Can Donate Organs

Everyone can donate the organs, but they have to let theirfamily know that fact and then sign the organ donor card. The law also requiresthem to sign New York State Organ and Tissue Donor Registry. After death, many organsfrom a donor are potentially useful, regardless the person's age at the time ofdeath. Some of donors were very young and others elderly people. What mattersfor organ donation is medical condition of the deceased donor. If he or she wassuffering from active infections or HIV donation is not possible. Donors whosuffered from hepatitis B and C can donate their organs, but only to patientssuffering from the same disease.

After brain death is confirmed, surgeons have to react veryquickly and remove useful organs from the donor’s body. All information aboutthe donor or donor's family is not to be revealed to anyone.

Alive person can also donate his or her organ(s), if it’spart of the liver, pancreas or the lungs. Such donation is possible if thedonor is close relative to a recipient, if there is a need of the recipient andinterest of the donor. Also, transplant center which is taking care of therecipient must be interested in the procedure.

Steps of Organ Donation

When a donor patient is about to die, hospital can requestsome confidential info about the patient to find out if he or she is a potential donor,which is followed by the medical evaluation of the organ suitability. After thedeclaration of death and consent for organ donation, there are confirmation ofdeath under jurisdiction and allocation of organs and identification ofrecipient(s). Organ recovery and preservation are next steps in the organ donation.Family of the donor, doctors and nurses will receive letters about the outcomeof the donation.

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