Solid Organ Transplant

Information for Organ Donors

Why Become an Organ Donor

Organ transplants saves thousands of lives each year. Deciding to become an organ donor demonstrates your commitment to renewing the life and health of others in need. You will truly be giving the gift of life.

The Organ Donor Card

It is important to personally share your decision to become an organ donor with your family and friends. Then, if the need arises, your loved ones will know and can carry out your wishes. You can also indicate your intention to become an organ donor on your driver's license, or by carrying an Organ Donor Card with you.

Register to Be an Organ Donor

In the event of your death, your family will be asked if they would like to donate your organs. Organ donation will not take place without their consent, but you can make this decision easier for your loved ones by informing them of your desire ahead of time. In addition, it can be helpful to hospital staff to know your intentions as well. Although all life-saving measures will be taken, knowledge of your intentions can shape the medical response in the aftermath of your death.

There are several ways you can make your intention to be an organ donor known:

  • Discuss it with your friends and family. Although this is a difficult and sensitive subject, it will help your loved ones immensely to know your wishes if they are faced with making decisions in the event of your untimely death.
  • Mark it on your driver's license. When you apply for or renew your driver's license in the State of New York, you have the opportunity to indicate whether or not you would like to be an organ donor.
  • Carry a donor card. You can download a small card from the United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS). Fill this out and carry it in your wallet to let emergency personnel know of your intentions.
  • Register to be an Organ Donor. You can also register online with the New York State Donor Registry.

Organ Donation from Living Donors

Transplant surgeons at the University of Rochester Medical Center use a minimally invasive procedure to remove a sections or whole organs from living donors. Each year, hundreds of people in the Greater Rochester area wait for donor organs. Traditionally, deceased donor organs, those removed from a healthy person after a sudden accident or illness, were the only option for patients needing a transplant. Due to a shortage of deceased donor organs, the number of patients waiting for a transplant in the United States has grown dramatically. Transplant patients are forced to endure longer waiting times and may become quite ill before they receive an organ, and in some instances, are too ill to undergo transplant surgery.

Living donor organs lessen the need for deceased donor organs and offer new hope for transplant recipients.