BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - April is Organ Donor Awareness Month and more than 2.4 million Louisiana residents are registered as donors.
More than 119,000 men, women, and children and on the national transplant waiting list in Louisiana with more than 2,000 people waiting for organ transplants.
Some may say religion prohibits organ donation, but most religions approve of it because it is seen as an act of charity. As far as medical history goes, some say organs or tissues are unfit for donation, but at the time of death, the appropriate medical professionals will go over a person's medical and social histories to determine whether or not a person can be a donor.
Since recent advances in transplantation have been made, more people than ever before can be donors. It's best to tell your family your wishes and sign up to be an organ donor on your driver's license or on an official donor document.
Being an organ donor doesn't mean you have to be a certain age to donate. People of all ages and medical histories should consider themselves potential donors. At the time of death, a person's medical condition will determine what organs and tissues can be donated. Some say only the heart, liver, and kidneys can be transplanted, but that is not true. Organs needed include the heart, kidneys, pancreas, lungs, liver, and intestines. Tissue that can be donated includes the eyes, skin, bone, heart valves, and tendons.
Almost 20 people per day die unnecessarily because there are too few organ donors. Upon its inception in 1984, Ochsner's team of renowned physicians, surgeons, transplant nurses, and support specialists have successfully performed more than 6,000 life-saving liver, kidney, pancreas, heart, and lung transplants in both adult and pediatric patients through their living donor program for living liver and living kidney transplants.
To register online to be an organ donor, click here.