How to donate an organ

More than 100,000 people are on a waiting list for an organ transplant in the United States. About 100 more are put on a waiting list each day. Unfortunately, there are many more people on the waiting list than available organs. Approximately 18 people die each day while waiting for an organ.

There are two ways you can help:
1. Register as an organ donor.
This means that if you die while your organs are still healthy, you can donate them to another person in need.
2. Consider becoming a living donor. Organs that can be donated by living donors include a kidney, lobe of a lung, or a portion of the liver, pancreas or intestine.

Register as an organ donor
Only about 20 percent of Americans (about 38 percent of licensed drivers) are registered as organ donors. If this number went up, many more lives could be saved.

There are two ways to register:
1)  You can register when you receive or renew your driver's license. If you register, your license will indicate that you are a donor. This way, doctors will know right away that you wish to donate your organs in the event of your death.
2) You can also fill out a donor registration form online.

For more information about organ donation, or to register in the Midwest, visit the Lifesource Web site. For information on how to become a registered donor in your state, visit You can also find valuable information on the Donate Life site.

Living Donation
The first living donation took place in 1954 when a man donated a kidney to his twin brother. Today, more than 6,000 people make a living organ donation each year. Living donation is a way for people to help a friend, loved one, or even a stranger who might otherwise have to wait a long time on the waiting list for a deceased donor organ. It can help prevent someone from getting sicker or even dying while on the waiting list.

To learn more about living donation at University of Minnesota Medical Center, Fairview click on these links:
Living Kidney Donor Program
Living Liver Donor Program

Click on this link for financial information for living donors.

You can also learn more about living donation by visiting the Transplant Living Web site