In 1954 a kidney was the first human organ transplanted from one person to another. By the late 1960s, surgeons were successful in transplanting a liver, heart, and pancreas, followed by lung and intestinal transplants in the 1980s. While doctors were able to transplant the organs successfully, the body of the recipient would occasionally reject the organ. This problem limited the number of transplants doctors would do. Researchers studied the causes and found ways to limit the number of rejections, paving the way for more successful transplants. This led to more surgeries and an increase in demand. Today, doctors continue to improve the life-saving procedure, and the list of transplantable organs grows. If you are thinking of becoming an organ donor, find out which organs can be donated for transplant.
Organs Appropriate for Living Donation
There are certain organs that a person can donate while living, and some they can’t, for obvious reasons. The human body can survive without certain organs. People who donate organs go on to live long, fulfilling lives. Living donors do so to help a family member or close friend in need. There is a qualification process necessary to find out if the people are a match before the donation can occur. This means first that they have the same blood type so that the body doesn’t reject the organ. Organs appropriate for living donation are:
- One kidney
- One lung
- Part of the liver
- Part of the pancreas
- Part of the intestine
Organs That Can Be Donated After Death
People who sign up to be organ donors save lives after death. Their vital organs will go to a person in need after they pass. In order for the organs to be saved and used, they have to be removed and transported soon after death. That means that the surgical team must remove the organs and transport them to the recipient’s hospital in enough time so that the tissue doesn’t expire. A great deal of timing and coordination goes into this. The organs that are transplantable after death are:
- Two lungs
- Two kidneys
- Heart valves
Consult Your Doctor
If you are considering being an organ donor or know someone in need, the first thing you should do is consult your physician. Learn all the facts and risks associated with organ donation before making any kind of life altering decision.