SETX Senior Health News – You Can Be an Organ, Eye, and Tissue Donor
On today’s SETX Senior Health News we look at organ donation options for Golden Triangle senior citizens.
Did you know Southeast Texas seniors are highly valued as eye, tissue, and organ donors?
If you’ve been interested in becoming an organ donor but weren’t sure how, or thought you had to be a certain age, today’s edition of SETX Senior Health News is for you.
With approximately 1.5 million Texans signed up to be organ and tissue donors, many people assume Texans who need transplants have no cause for concerns about availability.
Not quite true, says Michele Goddard of the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS). “In a state with 25 million people and a constant medical need for transplants, you never have enough registered donors,” Goddard said, noting that 10,400 Texans are on waiting lists for transplantsat any point in time. Despite strong overall registration numbers, actual donation rates remain flat in some areas of the state including Central and South Texas.
As Goddard’s colleague Pamela Mann noted, a lot of things can happen to prevent a Southeast Texas senior citizen who is signed up for the statewide Glenda Dawson Donate Life Texas Registry from actually having their wishes honored after their death.
Even if you’re in the registry, time is of the essence for harvesting organs after death, and family members who aren’t sure about your wishes may not be prepared to authorize it. We urge Southeast Texas Seniors who have signed up with the organ donor registry to have the conversation with as many loved ones as possible.
There are a million possible reasons why someone who’s signed up to donate might not be able to do so. Making sure your family knows you are committed to becoming an organ donor is very valuable.
How to Make Your Wishes as an SETX Senior Organ Donor Known
The easiest way for Southeast Texas seniors to indicate your desire to be an organ and tissue donor is to go to the DonateLifeTexas.org website and sign up for the Glenda Dawson Donate Life Texas Registry. The process takes only a minute or so and requires no witnesses.
Golden Triangle senior citizens can also can indicate your desire to be on the registry when you apply for, renew or replace your state driver’s license or I.D. card with the Texas Department of Transportation.
Once a Southeast Texas senior has signed up as an organ donor, tell your friends, family, co-workers and others what you’ve chosen to do and why. Hospitals do check when a patient dies to see if they are a registered organ donor, but family members who are unaware of your desire may refuse to allow organs to be harvested.
SETX Senior Organ Donation Options
Although a majority of organs are donated posthumously, DSHS notes that more than half of all kidney transplants are from living donors. Live donations of a portion of a liver also are common. The Glenda Dawson Donate Life Texas Registry is not for people who want to be living donors, but you can find out how to be a live donor by contacting the Organ Procurement Organization in your area. They’re listed under Resources on the DonateLifeTexas website.
The Glenda Dawson Registry also is not for people who want to donate bone marrow or cord blood, but these vitally needed donations can be made at the National Marrow Donor Program website: www.marrow.org.
To request printed materials on organ and tissue donation, or to find out more about who can donate organs and tissue, go to DonateLifeTexas.org or call DSHS toll-free at 800-222-3986.
With organ donation, Southeast Texas senior citizens can be life savers.
For many of our Southeast Texas senior readers, being an organ donor is a key part of their legacy.
We hope you’ve enjoyed today’s edition of SETX Senior Health News.
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