More than 100,000 people are waiting for a lifesaving transplant. Transplants rely on the generosity of organ, eye and tissue donors, and there are not enough donors to meet the need.
More than 100,000 people are waiting for lifesaving organ transplants.
Every 9 minutes another person is added to the national transplant waiting list.
6,000 people in the US died in 2021 while on the transplant waiting list.
Organ, Eye & Tissue Donation FAQs
People of all ages and medical histories should consider themselves potential donors. Your medical condition at the time of death will determine what organs and tissues can be donated.
A national system matches available organs from the donor with people on the waiting list based on blood type, body size, how sick they are, donor distance, tissue type and time on the list. Sexual orientation, gender, gender identity or expression, race, income, celebrity and social status are never considered.
Deceased organ donation is the process of giving an organ or a part of an organ, at the time of the donor’s death, for the purpose of transplantation to another person. Only after all efforts to save the patient’s life have been exhausted, tests have been performed to confirm the absence of brain or brainstem activity, and brain death has been declared, is donation a possibility.
The state donor registry and National Donate Life Registry are searched securely online to determine if the patient has authorized donation. If the potential donor is not found in a registry, their next of kin or legally authorized representative is offered the opportunity to authorize the donation. Donation and transplantation professionals follow national policy to determine which organs can be transplanted and to which patients on the national transplant waiting list the organs are to be allocated. Read more about the deceased donation process.
There is no cost to the donor’s family or estate for donation. The donor family pays only for medical expenses before death and costs associated with funeral arrangements.
Your life always comes first. Doctors work hard to save every patient’s life, but sometimes there is a complete and irreversible loss of brain function. The patient is declared clinically and legally dead. Only then is donation an option.
Organ, eye and tissue donors save lives
Register to be an organ, eye and tissue donor.
Transplants rely on the generosity of organ, eye and tissue donors, and there are not enough donors to meet the need. You can help.