At a time of loss, it’s hard for a family to think of anything beyond the death of their loved one. Yet it is at this critical time that decisions about organ donation are often made.
Organ donation saves 25,000 lives each year. Donations from one person can save up to eight lives. But if a person hasn’t discussed his or her wish to be an organ donor with family members, the opportunity may be lost.
For this reason, New Hanover Regional Medical Center, along with Carolina Donor Services, is working to encourage the discussion of organ donation through education and other assistance. Last year, NHRMC joined the Organ Donation Breakthrough Collaborative, an initiative of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).
The Collaborative was designed to raise awareness of the life-saving benefits of organ and tissue donation and to work with partner hospitals to maximize opportunities for donation when possible. In September, NHRMC was awarded the Organ Donation Medal of Honor for achieving a donation rate of more than 75 percent of all potential deceased donors.
NHRMC committee member, Tammy Eisel, RN, was among those accepting the award for New Hanover Regional.
“For me, the greatest honor was when a beautiful teenage girl presented us with the medal and thanked us for our efforts,” said Eisel. “She then explained that she was a transplant recipient and that it was the work of hospitals like ours that saved her life.”
The need for organ donors is always high. Nationally, more than 92,000 people are on the organ waiting list. On average 18 people die each day while waiting for an organ transplant.
If you are interested in being an organ donor, please discuss it with your family. Simply checking the box on your drivers’ license usually isn’t enough.If you would like more information about organ donation visit www.nhrmc.org/organdonation or call Carolina Donor Services 1.800.200.2672.