September 3rd, 2009
02:41 PM ET

Organ Donation: How you can help

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/HEALTH/06/09/kidney.failure.gene/art.dialysis.wf.jpg]

The United Network for Organ Sharing

The United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS) is a non-profit, scientific and educational organization that administers the nation's only Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network (OPTN), established by the U.S. Congress in 1984.

It is responsible for the following:

* collect and manage data about every transplant event occurring in the United States
* facilitate the organ matching and placement process using UNOS-developed data technology and the UNOS Organ Center
* bring together medical professionals, transplant recipients and donor families to develop organ transplantation policy

Go here to learn more about the organization and to find out how you can help.

Filed under: Organ Transplant
soundoff (2 Responses)
  1. Glenn Matsuki

    There are currently over 110,000 registrants on the UNOS wait list awaiting a life saving organ transplant. 81,000 of the registrants are waiting for a kidney whose average wait time is now anywhere between six to ten years.

    An individual may help by logging on to their states donor registry to learn more about organ, eye & tissue donation then registering your wish to save lives. You may learn more about donor registries around the country at: http://donatelife-organdonation.blogspot.com

    One organ donor can save the lives of up to eight people.

    One tissue donor can save or enhance the lives of up to 50 individuals, including giving the gift of sight. Currently much of the tissue being recovered is being used to help our returning injured soldiers from the Iraq and Afghanistan wars.

    Once you have designated your self and an organ, eye and tissue donor, please share your decision with your family.

    Heart Transplant Recipient, June 1995

    September 4, 2009 at 11:23 am |
  2. LivingDonor101

    UNOS is a private contractor and not immune to political pressures. Right now they are considering expanding their Paired Kidney Donation pilot project – yes, using LIVE DONORS – even though they legally have no jurisdiction over live donation. (NOTA established OPTN and UNOS to regulate the deceased donation waiting list)

    In addition, their proposal's purpose is to 'collect data' on Paired Kidney Donation, meaning both recipients and donors are considered "human research test subjects", yet, they are not following research protocol as established by federal law.

    UNOS has acknowledged they lose track of 40% of living donors within 6 months of surgery, and another 40% w/i the first year. Transplant centers are required to submit follow-up data on living donors for two-years post-donation, yet they are given credit for incomplete forms.

    UNOS receives payment for every recipient and donor – they must be held responsible for their inadequacies.

    September 4, 2009 at 10:42 am |