National Donor Day: 4 Kinds of Donations You Can Make to Save a Life


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Organ donation is the best gift you can give someone on Valentine’s Day. It happens when an individual gives consent to have a part of their body given to someone else. National Donor Day, marked on February 14, provides awareness about organ donation and transplants.

According to the Health Resource & Service Administration, 170 million Americans are registered donors, and over 100,000 people are on the waiting list. 17 people died before they received transplants and over 46, 000 transplants were done in 2023.

Apart from donating to someone, it’s also done for research purposes. There are several types of donations you can make and we’ll tell you more about them.

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Organs Donation

Spotcovery-National Donor Day: 4 Kinds of Donations You Can Make to Save a Life
Heart organ dummy. Source: Photo by Jesse Orrico on Unsplash

This is one type of donation you can make on National Donor Day. It involves the removal of certain body parts with the agreement of the involved parties to another person. Donors can still be living or deceased. 

A living donor goes through medical tests to ensure they meet the eligibility criteria of a donor. You need to be free of diseases such as diabetes and infections. A deceased donor has to die in specific circumstances to qualify as an organ donor. 

For example, they have to die in a hospital, where they’re under medical supervision. The most common organ transplants that are donated include: 

  • Kidney
  • Liver
  • Heart
  • Lungs
  • Intestines
  • Pancreas

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Tissue Donation

A TED Talk on tissue donation. Video Credit: TEDx Talks

Body tissues are transplanted into a recipient to help restore damaged body parts. According to Donate Life America, about 2.5 million tissue transplants are done annually. This process is handy to help patients under different circumstances. 

  • Patients with severe burns.
  • Athletes with torn ligaments and tendons. 
  • People injured in war.
  • Reconstructing skeletal muscles.

The types of body tissues that can be donated include: 

  • Cornea for the eyes
  • Heart valves
  • Tendon
  • Veins
  • Borns 
  • Skin

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Bone Marrow Donation

What happens during bone marrow donation? Video Credit: NMDP

Another donation that’s talked about during National Donor Day, is Bone Marrow. It involves harvesting the blood-forming cells which are used to treat patients with blood disorders such as blood cancer. To do bone marrow donation, you have to be healthy.

For example, someone with HIV/Aids, autoimmune diseases, heart diseases, and other illnesses.

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Blood Donation

Spotcovery-National Donor Day: 4 Kinds of Donations You Can Make to Save a Life
A man donating blood. Source: Photo by Nguyễn Hiệp on Unsplash

Blood transfusion n is one of the most common kinds of donation people do. It involves the withdrawal of blood from one healthy patient and giving it to another. For you to be legible to give blood, you must have a healthy pulse, body temperature, blood pressure and hemoglobin levels.

Blood donation also involves the giving of plasma, platelets and giving of red cells. According to the American Red Cross, a patient needs blood every two seconds. About 6.8 million Americans donate blood. 

On National Donor Day, learn more about these processes. You or someone you know might not need this help but you can help someone in need. Which type of donation have you taken part in?

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