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Need for Blood and Organ Donors Continues to Grow
Date:2/11/2011

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The U.S. Health Resources and Services Administration has more on Donor Day.

A companion article has more on how donating bone marrow can save a life.

Frequently Asked Questions

(HealthDay News) -- People thinking of becoming an organ donor usually have a host of questions. Common ones, with answers provided by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, include:

Who can be an organ donor?

There are no age limits. Donors range from newborns to senior citizens. Anyone younger than 18 must have a parent's or guardian's consent. You do not need to be a U.S. citizen to donate or receive an organ in the United States.

Organ donors are given a donor card and are encouraged to carry it in their wallet. Some states allow the information to be included on a driver's license. In any case, make sure your family knows your wishes. Families sometimes are asked to sign a consent form when it's time for the donation to occur. Others who prospective donors may want to notify include a family doctor, lawyer and religious leader.

Who cannot be an organ donor?

People with certain medical conditions cannot donate an organ. This includes people with:

  • HIV
  • Actively spreading brain cancer
  • Some severe, current infections

What organs and tissues can be donated?

Organs that can be transplanted include:

  • Kidney
  • Heart
  • Liver
  • Lung
  • Pancreas
  • Intestines

People who are living can donate:

  • A kidney
  • Part of a lung
  • Part of their liver
  • Part of their intestines
  • Part of thei
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