Currently, over 8,000 Pennsylvanians are on the U.S. organ transplant waiting list and one citizen in Pennsylvania dies every 18 hours waiting for a transplant. Thousands of others, such as veterans, cancer survivors and individuals with severe burns, wait for donated tissue such as corneas, skin, bone, heart valves and tendons. Just one organ, eye and tissue donor can save the lives of eight people and improve the lives of 50 more.
Despite advances in medicine and technology and an increased awareness of organ donation and transplantation, the gap between the supply of organs and the need for organs continues to widen. Pennsylvania’s organ and tissue donation awareness program seeks to:
- Educate and encourage all Commonwealth citizens to become registered donors and to share this decision with their family members and friends;
- Spread the message that people can help reduce the need for donated organs and increase their chance of donating by living well through a healthy lifestyle that includes physical activity, balanced diet, tobacco-free habits and regular screening of their weight, blood sugar, blood pressure and cholesterol; and
- Expand and support opportunities for people to consider becoming a living donor. Over 80% of people in Pennsylvania on the waiting list need a kidney transplant. Anyone can be comprehensively evaluated to determine if they are a candidate for living kidney donation to a person on the waiting list.
Donate Life Pennsylvania
Center for Organ Recovery & Education (CORE)
Gift of Life Donor Program (GOL)
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
PA Department of Health
For school nurses, educators and administrators:
Organ and Tissue Donation Awareness
Sources of Data: United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS)