Organ donation myths and truths revealed

Published on Saturday, 28 September 2013 20:56 - Written by By Danny Mogle

The Tyler Paper has received good news from Pam Silvestri, the public affairs director for the Southwest Transplant Alliance and Donate Life Texas, organizations that promote and facilitate organ donation.

“We’ve been working hard to increase registrations and donations in Texas over the last few years, and we are seeing a lot of progress in Tyler. We’ve just finalized our 2012 numbers and learned that 30 lives were saved through organ donors from Tyler last year,” she says.

People can sign up to be an organ donor on the website or when you apply or renew your driver’s license with the Texas Department of Public Safety. encourages those who register to share their decision with loved ones. “While sharing your decision with family is recommended, no one can overturn your decision once you once you are a registered donor,” it states.

The website also addresses myths about or-gan donation.

Myth: If I am in an accident and the hospital knows that I want to be an organ and tissue donor, the doctors will not try to save my life.

Truth: Organ and tissue recovery takes place only after all efforts to save your life have been exhausted and death has been legally declared. The medical team treating you is completely separate from the transplant team.

Myth: Donation will mutilate my body.

Truth: Donated organs and tissues are removed surgically, in a routine operation similar to open-heart surgery. Donation doesn’t prevent an open-casket funeral or viewing.

Myth: I am not the right age for organ or tissue donation.

Truth: Organs may be donated from birth to old age. There is no age limit for tissue donation. At the time of death, the appropriate medical professionals will determine whether organs are usable.

Myth: Only the heart, liver and kidneys can be transplanted.

Truth: Needed organs include the heart, kidneys, pancreas, lungs, liver and intestines. Tissues that can be donated include the eyes, skin, bone, heart valves and tendons.

Myth: Donor families incur costs related to donation.

Truth: Donor families are never asked to pay for any expenses related to donation. The beauty of their lifesaving gift should never be blemished in such a way.