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You Can Make a Lifesaving Difference at any Age

You Can Make a Lifesaving  Difference at any Age

Organ donations can, literally, make a lifesaving difference. In 2016–the most recent year for which statistics are available–more than 33,600 transplants brought renewed life to patients.

At this very moment, over 116,000 men, women and children await lifesaving organ transplants, and another person is added to the nation’s organ transplant waiting list every 10 minutes.

Unfortunately, organ demand significantly outpaces organ supply. As a result, some 8,000 people die annually, which equates to 22 individuals each day.

In addition to organs, people also can be eye and tissue donors. The decision to do so can have a tremendous impact. For example, 48,000 patients have their sight restored through corneal transplants each year. Additionally, a single tissue donor can help more than 75 people.

April is National Donate Life Month, so ATRIO Health Plans is working to increase awareness about the lifesaving impact organ, eye and tissue donors can have.

You can Make a Difference at any Age

ATRIO Health Plans also is spreading the word that people of all ages and medical histories can potentially be donors.

Seniors often are under the misconception that if you're over 65 and retired, your organs are retired too. This, quite simply, is not the case. People in their 60s, 70s, and beyond can be donors.

Studies have shown that organs from older donors absolutely can save lives. In fact, a review of nearly 650 kidneys transplanted from donors aged 50 to older than 80 found that patient survival and organ function was high, even among the oldest donors.

Further, recent research revealed that five-year patient survival rates were high—ranging from 88% to 90%—including among 265 patients who received kidneys from donors in their 70s, and 27 who got organs from donors older than 80.

Older Adults are Least Likely to be Donors

According to the Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network, statistics for the most recent year available shoe that of more than 9,000 deceased organ donors in the United States, only 618 were age 65 or older, despite the fact that people of all ages can be organ donors. In fact, one of the oldest organ donors in America was 92. His donated liver saved the life of a 69-year-old woman.

The truth is, you're never too old to make a lifesaving difference.

To register as a donor, visit RegisterMe.org. To learn more about organ, eye, tissue and living donation, visit DonateLife.net.

Sources:

https://www.donatelife.net/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/2018-NDLM-Donation-and-Transplantation-Statistics-FINAL-12.17-FINAL-public.pdf

https://www.donatelife.net/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/2018-NDLM_FAQs-public-FINAL.pdf

https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/2016/12/15/senior-citizens---even-age-80---can-organ-donors/95506040/