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Organ donation takes healthy organs and tissues from one person for transplantation into another. Experts say that the organs from one donor can save or help as many as 50 people. Organs you can donate include:
- Internal organs: Kidneys, heart, liver, pancreas, intestines, lungs
- Bone and bone marrow
Most organ and tissue donations occur after the donor has died. But some organs and tissues can be donated while the donor is alive.
People of all ages and background can be organ donors. If you are under age 18, your parent or guardian must give you permission to become a donor. If you are 18 or older you can show you want to be a donor by signing a donor card. You should also let your family know your wishes.
Health Resources and Services Administration
- Organ Donation FAQs (Health Resources and Services Administration) Also in Spanish
- Who Can Donate? (Health Resources and Services Administration) Also in Spanish
- Can I Donate My Organs If I've Had Cancer? (American Cancer Society)
- How Organ Donation Works (Health Resources and Services Administration) Also in Spanish
- How You Can Help Medical Research: Donating Your Blood, Tissue, and Other Samples (National Cancer Institute) Also in Spanish
- Organ Donation: Don't Let These Myths Confuse You (Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research) Also in Spanish
- Organ Type and Waiting Time (United Network for Organ Sharing)
- Being a Living Donor: Risks (United Network for Organ Sharing)
Statistics and Research
- Organ Donation and Transplantation Statistics (National Kidney Foundation)
- ClinicalTrials.gov: Living Donors (National Institutes of Health)
- ClinicalTrials.gov: Tissue Donors (National Institutes of Health)
- ClinicalTrials.gov: Unrelated Donors (National Institutes of Health)
Journal Articles References and abstracts from MEDLINE/PubMed (National Library of Medicine)
- Article: Twenty Years of Unspecified Kidney Donation: Unspecified Donors Looking Back on...
- Article: Donation type and the effect of pre-transplant donor specific antibodies -...
- Article: Linear-Shaped Low-Bandgap Asymmetric Conjugated Donor Molecule for Fabrication of Bulk Heterojunction...
- Organ Donation -- see more articles
- Organ Facts and Surgeries (United Network for Organ Sharing)
- Organ Donation -- You're Never Too Old to Make a Difference (National Institute on Aging)