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Organ Donation

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Summary

Organ donation takes healthy organs and tissues from one person for transplantation into another. Experts say that the organs from one donor can save or help as many as 50 people. Organs you can donate include

  • Internal organs: Kidneys, heart, liver, pancreas, intestines, lungs
  • Skin
  • Bone and bone marrow
  • Cornea

Most organ and tissue donations occur after the donor has died. But some organs and tissues can be donated while the donor is alive.

People of all ages and background can be organ donors. If you are under age 18, your parent or guardian must give you permission to become a donor. If you are 18 or older you can show you want to be a donor by signing a donor card. You should also let your family know your wishes.

Health Resources and Services Administration

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Related Issues

  • (American Cancer Society)
  • (Health Resources and Services Administration) Also in
  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Cancer Institute) - PDF
  • (Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research) Also in
  • (United Network for Organ Sharing)

Specifics

  • (United Network for Organ Sharing)
  • (Musculoskeletal Transplant Foundation)

Statistics and Research

  • (National Kidney Foundation)

Striking laughter

  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Institutes of Health)
  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Institutes of Health)
  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Institutes of Health)

Journal Articles References and abstracts from MEDLINE/PubMed (National Library of Medicine)

Reference Desk

  • (United Network for Organ Sharing)

Older Adults

  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Institute on Aging)