Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services Celebrates National Donor Day

LINCOLN, Nebraska (Nebraska) – An organ, eye and tissue donor can save and cure more than 100 lives. The Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services has designated February 14 as National Donor Day, which highlights the importance of organ, eye and tissue donation.

More than 300 people in Nebraska are waiting for organ transplants, according to Live On Nebraska, a local nonprofit dedicated to saving and healing lives through organ, tissue and eye donation. In 2022, more than 600 people gave life through organ and tissue donation.

Live On Nebraska is one of 57 organ buying organizations nationwide. Their service area includes all of Nebraska and Pottawattami County, Iowa. They work to restore organs and tissues for transplant, maintain and expand the Nebraska donor registry, and educate on the importance of donation.

More than 100,000 people are on the waiting list for organ transplants across the country. Twenty people die every day because they don’t have organs. About 85% of these people need a kidney.

Organs are selected based on compatibility, distance to the donor, and urgency of the recipient. They are never matched based on anyone’s race, gender, income, or social status.

While organs are most often donated after the death of a donor, living donation is a chance to help a person while they are still alive. Common living donations include a kidney or part of a liver. Many people don’t realize that corneas, bones, tendons, heart valves, intestines, veins, nerves, arteries, and skin can also be transplanted.

Donate Life America notes that 95% of Americans support organ donation, but only 60% of people nationwide are registered donors. In Nebraska, 54% of people are registered donors.

Here are some things to keep in mind if you are considering registering as a donor:

  • Donation is possible only after exhausting all efforts to save the patient’s life.
  • An open-casket burial is almost always possible after a donation.
  • The donation is free for the donor’s family.
  • Almost all major religions support donations.

Registering as a donor means that you will someday be able to help others in need. Anyone 16 years of age or older, regardless of their health status, can register to donate by visiting or registering for a driver’s license or government ID.

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