Everything You Need To Know About Being An Organ Donor

It's National Organ Donor Month!


Ondela Mlandu |

Statistics from the Organ Donor Foundation of South Africa state there are 4 300 South African adults and children who are waiting for an organ.

Being an organ donor is a selfless act and there is an urgent need for more organ donors in the country.

In order to be an organ donor, you need to be in good health and clear of any chronic diseases. The most important aspect of being an organ donor is the life you save. This selfless act has great detail and we’ve broken down a few of the pressing questions you may have.

Director of the Organ Donation Fund, Samantha Nicholls speaks of the importance of being an organ donor, “There is a chronic shortage of donors in South Africa. Thousands of patients are on the waiting list and many patients die as they don’t receive an organ in time.”

Below will help you familiarise yourself with how to be an organ donor

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The myths

  1. My family won’t be able to have an open casket at my funeral. An open casket is possible for eye and tissue donors. During the entire donation process, the body is treated with care, respect, and dignity.
  2. ‘Famous people’ get first preference when it comes to organ donors. Well-known people, race and income status does not affect the donor waiting list. There are a few things that need to be taken into consideration, such as a matching blood type for the recipient, the waiting period of the recipient as well as the geographical location of the organ donor.
  3. I must be paid to be a donor. There is no cost involved for both the recipient and donor. As the donor, you are offering a gift. Trading in organs for a fee is illegal.

Who qualifies to be an organ donor?

Anyone and everyone can sign up as an organ and tissue donor. There’s no age limit to register, no medical tests required when you sign up and the medical professionals will do the necessary tests at the time of someone’s deaath to then determine what organs and tissues can be used.

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Which organs and tissues can be used transplanted?

Your organs include the following — the eyes, heart, liver, kidney’s, lungs and pancreas. The tissue includes — the corneous, skin, heart valve and tendons.

How do I become an organ donor?

Doing ample research is vital because you need to know what you’re getting yourself into. Any healthy person can become a donor. Registering as an organ donor would be the next step, before committing to anything by signing on the dotted lines. Upon signing the confidentiality form, your donor recipient will not know who you are.

READ MORE ON: Health Health Advice