According to Donate Life America (DLA), a key goal set by the donation and transplant community in 2006 was achieved this month. The United States can now boast that 100 million Americans — roughly 42 percent of the adult population –are registered as organ, eye and tissue donors in state donor registries.
Growth in the number of registered donors is vital because the need for transplants continues to rise. More than 112,000 people are currently waiting for lifesaving organ transplants. Thousands more await tissue transplants to resume their normal lives. Last year, more than 28,000 people received organ transplants, more than 40,000 received corneal transplants and hundreds of thousands received tissue transplants, yet 6,590 died awaiting organ transplants.
To date, the Maryland Donor Registry has more than 2.2 million registered organ, eye and tissue donors. With nearly 2,000 of people in the state awaiting organ transplants and the thousands more in need of corneal and tissue transplants, it is critical to continue increasing the number of registered donors. Each person that registers as a donor, provides hope to the thousands of men, women and children who are in need of transplants to return them back to their lives and loved ones. Marylanders are encouraged to register by visiting www.donatelifemaryland.org
On average, nearly 8 million people join a state donor registry each year; a majority (97 percent) joins through state departments of motor vehicles (DMV’s). Therefore, Donate Life America builds strong relationships with many DMV officials throughout the nation to encourage education and training of their staff to help them better advocate for organ, eye and tissue donation.
“As we lay the foundation to register an additional 20 million people by the end of 2012, we are developing strategies to overcome the obstacles presented by maturing registries. We are not deterred by the challenges ahead,” says Donate Life America Chairperson, Helen W. Bottenfield. “Our primary goal is to preserve human life and improve the quality of life for those in need of organ, corneal and tissue transplants. We will remain focused and find creative ways to reach, educate and motivate those who have not yet registered as donors.”
As of June 30, 2011, data reported by Donate Life America state teams revealed 42 percent of U.S. adults (age 18 and older) are registered as organ, eye and tissue donors. States with the highest percentage included: Alaska and Montana (78 percent each) and Washington (74 percent).
The public is encouraged to join the 100 million individuals already registered as organ, eye and tissue donors by visiting www.donatelifemaryland.org and registering today.