Organ Donation

Published: Nov. 23, 2021 at 11:08 AM CST
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With the holidays upon us, health experts want to get the message out about the importance of talking with family members about end of life wishes.

While it can be a difficult conversation, it’s considered a proactive and positive discussion.

Dusti Mielke, a respiratory therapist and member of the organ donation committee at HSHS Sacred Heart Hospital, talks about the importance of organ donation and the need for more organ donors.

Some of the hesitancy regarding organ donation stems from the unknown or incorrect information:

  • Even though 3 million people in WI are registered to be organ donors (sounds like a lot), it doesn’t mean the organs of every person will be viable (even if you are 100% healthy). That’s why SO many donors are needed.
  • You think of the major organs when you hear “organ donation”, but there are a lot of other things that can be donated (see attached graphic)
  • If you’re an organ donor and in the hospital for a serious condition, doctors are not not going to try to make you better – in fact, those who treat you (even if you are nearing death) are not the same people who coordinate anything related to organ donation
  • If you’re in an accident and someone sees the orange dot on your driver’s license, it doesn’t mean they’re going to delay care or do anything to “speed up” the process of getting your organs for someone else
  • Even if you are not 100% healthy, you may be a good candidate for donation (example: you may not have strong lungs, or a healthy kidney, but that doesn’t mean you may not be able to donate other organs, tissue or eyes)

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