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Organ Donation Still a Vital Necessity During Holiday Season

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’s fitting then that local residents take this time to register as organ donors in an effort to give the most precious gift of all – the gift of life. Image for illustration purposes.
It’s fitting then that local residents take this time to register as organ donors in an effort to give the most precious gift of all – the gift of life. Image for illustration purposes.

Mega Doctor News

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HARLINGEN & BROWNSVILLE – The holiday season is often seen as a time for gift-giving.

It’s fitting then that local residents take this time to register as organ donors in an effort to give the most precious gift of all – the gift of life, said Lydia Touchet, Patient Safety Officer at Valley Baptist Medical Center-Brownsville. Although National Donate Life Month is traditionally recognized in April, there’s no better time to consider registering to be an organ donor than the present since the need for organ donation is year-round.

“Organ donation means life. By donating our organs, we are not only being charitable, but we are helping others to live a better quality of life,” Touchet said. “It is helping our families and neighbors to live without having to be hooked up to a dialysis machine for the rest of their lives. It means those in our community may live to see their children and grandchildren live. When we donate, we enhance someone else’s life. Our corneas allow others to see better, our bones and tissues help others to walk and participate in other daily activities.”

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While Valley Baptist Health System has dedicated itself to raising awareness regarding the importance of organ donation in the Valley, the need for donated organs remains high both locally and throughout the nation. According to the Health Resources & Services Administration, more than 106,000 men, women and children were on the national organ transplant list as of today. That list continues to grow, as a person is added to the waiting list every nine minutes. And for some, help doesn’t come soon enough, with 17 people dying each day while awaiting a transplant. Nearly 12,000 people on the transplant waiting list are from Texas.

Because 95 percent of adults in the United States support organ donation but only 58 percent are signed up as donors, according to the Health Resources & Services Administration, Roy Evans, Chief Quality Officer for Valley Baptist Health System, said that raising awareness regarding the issue, especially within the local community where there are a number of misconceptions surrounding organ donation, is key to chipping away at the staggering need.

“Even though we continue to make progress in educating our community, the myths related to organ donation can be difficult to dispel,” said Edwina P. Garza, senior communications coordinator for Texas Organ Sharing Alliance, the recovery agency for the Rio Grande Valley. “We continue to work hard for the benefit of every person on the waiting list and appreciate the efforts of Valley Baptist and its staff to help save lives.”

For more information on how to register as an organ donor, visit the Donate Life Texas Registry web site at www.DonateLifeTexas.org.

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BREAKOUT BOX:

Here are a few facts regarding organ donation:

·         Donation does not disfigure the body or prevent an open casket funeral.

·         Organ and tissue donation is considered only after all efforts to save the patient’s life have been exhausted and death has been legally declared.

·         There is no major religion in the U.S. that is opposed to organ and tissue donation. In fact, many religions endorse organ and tissue donation as an act of charity.

·         Few people are too old or too young to donate. Currently there are no age limits for donors. At the time of your death, medical professionals will determine whether your organs are transplantable.

·         The organ allocation system is blind to wealth, celebrity and social status. Donated organs are placed in recipients based on best medical match and most critical need.

·         No costs directly related to organ or tissue donation are passed on to the donor’s family or estate.

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