Become an organ donor
Organ Transplants are often the best possible treatment for most people with organ failure. A transplant is the replacement of a patient's organ(s) with a normal organ(s) from someone--called a donor--who has died or is living.
The donor's organ(s) is completely removed and quickly transported to the patient. Sometimes the patient may be in a different state or country. Organs are cooled and kept in a special solution while being taken to the patient.
Some of the body's replaceable parts and organs are listed below.
Bone marrow is a spongy tissue found inside bones. The bone marrow in the breast bone, skull, hips, ribs and spine contains stem cells that produce the body's blood cells.
The cornea is the clear "window" in front of the eye. It allows allows light to enter into the eye. The first cornea transplant was performed in 1905. Corneas can be preserved for up to 10 days before transplant.
A healthy heart is obtained from a donor who has suffered brain death but remains on life-support. The healthy heart is transported in a special solution that preserves the organ.
A liver transplant is necessary when a disease causes the liver to stop working. The most common reason for liver transplantation in adults is cirrhosis and liver cancer. Cirrhosis is a disease in which healthy liver cells are killed and replaced with scar tissue.
A lung transplant is necessary when a disease causes the lung to stop working. Lung transplants are often performed with a heart transplant.
Pancreas transplants give the patient a chance to become independent of insulin injections. If the patient is diabetic and needs a kidney transplant, the kidney and pancreas transplant may be performed at the same time.
Most recipients of small intestine transplants are between the ages of 1 and 5 or 18 and 34.
Stomach transplants are uncommon. When they are performed, they are usually done as part of a multi-organ transplant along with the liver, intestine or pancreas.
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