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
- 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)
Journal Articles References and abstracts from MEDLINE/PubMed (National Library of Medicine)
- Organ Facts (United Network for Organ Sharing)
- Organ Donation and Transplantation for Older Donors and Recipients: Resources from the U.S. Government (National Institute on Aging)
The information on this site should not be used as a substitute for professional medical care or advice. Contact a health care provider if you have questions about your health.