Lives are saved through organ donation – register today
More than 8,500 New York State residents are waiting for potentially life-saving organ transplants, according to a review of state data by Excellus BlueCross BlueShield. Unfortunately, time will run out for about 500 of them, as that’s the average number of New Yorkers who die each year before a matching organ becomes available.
“It’s not just statistics, but rather our loved ones, colleagues and neighbors,” says Lorna Fitzpatrick, MD, vice president of medical affairs and chief medical officer at Excellus BCBS. “We can increase their chances of success by increasing the number of people who sign up to become donors.”
In New York State, the need for donors is among the highest of any state in the union, yet only 45% of eligible state residents have registered with the Donate Life Registry.
All New York State residents age 16 and older can register to donate their organs, eyes, and/or tissue after death. An organ donor can save 8 lives and heal 75 others through eye and tissue donation.
- Donated organs include the heart, kidneys, pancreas, lungs, liver and intestines.
- Donated tissues include eyes/cornea, skin, heart valves, bones, blood vessels, nerves, cartilage and connective tissue.
After registration, donors receive a letter or email confirming their registration with the New York State Donation Registry and providing information on how to update the status of their donation decisions. Registration is a legal document guaranteeing the fulfillment of the person’s wish to be a donor. The family will be notified of the decision and will receive information about the process, but their permission is not required for the donation to take place.
“We are sincerely grateful to all donors and donor families who have chosen to pass on life through organ, eye and tissue donation,” said Rob Gruenenfelder, executive director of the Finger Lakes Donor Recovery Network. “Their selflessness has given countless people a second chance to live their full lives. I am also happy to share that 60% of community members in the 20-county area served by the Finger Lakes Donor Recovery Network are donors. The increase in registrants has had a direct impact on the ability to save more lives. In fact, in 2021, our organization helped honor the last wishes of more organ donors than any other year. of our 35-year history. This is a testament to the hard work of our volunteers, hospital partners, community leaders and advocates to encourage people to make their donation decisions, as well as our transplant programs to perform these life-saving transplants. .
New York State has simplified the process of registering as an organ and tissue donor, including allowing registration through the Department of Motor Vehicles when applying for a driver’s license or driver’s license (www. .DMV.NY.gov), through the Board of Elections when you register to vote, and through the New York State Health Marketplace when you purchase or renew a health insurance plan (www.NYStateofHealth.NY .gov). You can also complete a paper or online registration form, or check to see if you have already registered as an organ donor, at www.DonateLife.NY.gov.
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