What Can Be Donated?
More than 120,000 people are on the transplant wait list.
Every 12 minutes a new person is added.
Every day, 21 people die waiting for an organ transplant.
Click on a body part!
Click on a body part to see how donating different organs and tissues can help people in need. Organ and tissue donation saves and enhances the lives of thousands of patients every year.
A heart transplant can be necessary for those suffering from cardiomyopathy, myocarditis or a sudden virus infection. Transplants are blood typed and matched for the size and weight of the donor.
Some conditions that could make a liver transplant necessary are birth defects of the liver or bile duct or increasingly chronic liver infections like Hepatitis B or C. A donated liver can sometimes be split between two recipients, so one donor can be the source of two liver transplants.
Diabetes occurs when the pancreas no longer effectively controls the level of glucose in the blood. A successful pancreas transplant can free a patient from insulin dependence.
A single lung can save a life so one donor can be the source of two life-saving lung transplants. Lung transplants can be necessary for those afflicted with cystic fibrosis, pulmonary hypertension and emphysema.
Kidneys are the most commonly transplanted organ and the most in need. A kidney transplant is sometimes needed for those suffering from high blood pressure, diabetes and polycystic kidney disease. About half of all transplanted kidneys come from living donors.
Most intestinal transplants are performed on infants and children due to maladies such as twisted or blocked intestines or short-gut syndrome.
Heart valves can be recovered when the whole heart is determined not to be viable for transplant. Donated human vessels and valves are used as replacements and can mean the difference between life and death to recipients.
Sections of donated bone can be shaped and transplanted for use in many different surgical procedures such as spinal surgery, hip replacements, dental reconstruction and removal of cancerous bone tumors.
Some people lose circulation in their legs or blood flow to their heart due to disease or trauma. Donated veins can restore circulation in heart bypass surgeries and help prevent leg amputation for people suffering poor circulation.
Skin can be used to aid the healing process for severe burn victims, post-mastectomy reconstruction or for those who suffer from a disfiguring injury or disease. Donated skin grafts protect recipients from infection while promoting regeneration of their own skin.
Tendon and Ligament
Connective tissue, such as tendons and ligaments, help individuals with various orthopedic conditions. Many sports-related joint reconstructions require donated tendon or ligament to ensure success.
Tens of thousands of patients have their sight restored through corneal transplants each year. Anyone can be an eye donor. Cataracts, poor eyesight and age do not prohibit eye donation.