More than 650,000 people have registered to become organ donors since the Wisconsin Donor Registry was established a year ago today, March 29, 2010.
Not everyone can or will be eligible for organ donation, despite their best intentions, that’s why it’s significant that more people sign up. Trey Schwab is the Outreach Coordinator for the UW Hospital Organ Procurement Organization. He says a certain set of circumstances must exist at the time of death.
Schwab says the donors have to be in a hospital on a ventilator. “Only about 2 to 3 percent of all deaths occur in that manner so that organ donation is possible.”
But eligibility for tissue and eye donation isn’t as strict. Schwab says organ transplantation saved nearly 600 Wisconsin lives in 2010, but more than 1,700 people in the Badger State are awaiting a life saving transplant. “We see a lot more diabetes; we see a lot more high blood pressure … our waiting list here in Wisconsin, as of today, is up over 1750 people.”
Simply putting that orange dot on your driver’s license is not enough to ensure you’ll be an organ donor. You must register at YesIWillWisconsin.com to legally authorize your decision. Schwab says it’s still important to talk to your family about your intentions, even with the registry, as it will speed up the process and avoid confusion.