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Separating Organ Donor Myths and Facts

  • Category: General Health
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  • Written By: Southwest General Hospital
Separating Organ Donor Myths and Facts

Separating Organ Donor Myths and Facts

If you've ever thought about becoming an organ donor, you've probably come across some misconceptions surrounding the topic. We're here to set the record straight, and in an effort to save more lives, here's what you should know about organ donation.

Myth - If I have a medical condition, I can’t be an organ donor.

The truth is that anyone, regardless of his/her medical history, is able to sign up to be an organ donor. At a person’s time of death, a transplant team will assess the person’s organs to see which organs may be suitable for donation.

Myth - If my driver’s license says that I’m an organ donor, emergency medical staff will not try as hard to save me.

It is not true that an EMT, doctor or any other medical staff will stop trying to save your life simply because you are a registered organ donor.

Also, it is important to note that a series of tests are performed after a patient is dead. Brain death is the complete stopping of all brain function and cannot be reversed; however, once brain death has been confirmed, only then mechanical support (a breathing machine) can be applied to keep oxygen flowing to the organs until they can be recovered for transplant.

Myth - My religion may not support organ donation.

Most mainstream organized religions in the United States are in support of organ donation as an act of selflessness and generosity after death. If you’re not sure if your religious beliefs fall into that category, you can view official statements or policies about how some religions in the U.S. view donation for more information.

Myth - If I am in a coma, the hospital may take my organs.

Your organs can only be considered for donation once brain death has been confirmed. As stated above, brain death is irreversible and is not the same thing as being in a coma. A coma is when an individual is in a deep state of unconsciousness; he/she is alive but unable to move or respond to their environment.

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At Southwest General Medical Group, Inc., our team of physicians has years of experience in evaluating and caring for all patients in our community. To learn more about our services or schedule an appointment, visit our website.