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News 8 On Call: Busting Organ Donation Myths

Health

New Haven, Conn. (WTNH) – Every ten minutes someone is added to the national transplant waiting list. But there are not enough donors.

Alison Keating with Donate Life Connecticut has the facts you need to know.

Myth #1 – you can age out of being an organ donor.

She says, “You can not. We always encourage people to allow their doctors when somebody passes away to determine whether or not they can be an organ donor. It’s important because there are so many different things that can be donated, major organs, bone, tissue, skin.”

Myth #2 – you will not get the medical care you need if you are a donor.

“That couldn’t be further from the truth,” says Keating, “They are the most important person in the moment. That patient with first responders, with emergency room (personnel), emergency department physicians. They are the focus. And organ donation doesn’t come into the discussion until someone has passed away so, it might never come up if somebody is cared for and they recover.”

Myth #3 – your religious belief may not support organ donation.

“There are a few small sects of religious beliefs that don’t allow that. But for the most part, all major religions do. But we also follow that up with as part of making an informed decision, we encourage people to speak with their religious leaders as part of the decision to be an organ donor,” says Keating.

Myth #4 – it cost money to donate an organ.

She says, “The costs are covered by the OPO, which is the organ procurement organization. They are the ones who connect the patients, the recipient and the donors. So they cover the costs and then they work with the insurance companies. It’s the recipient’s insurance company that will ultimately end up paying the costs associated with that so there is no cost.”

Myth #5 – your health condition could prevent you from being a donor.

“Allowing the doctor to determine at their time of death if they can be an organ donor and they may not be able to donate say an organ they had cancer in, they won’t be able to donate that organ. But they could potentially donate other organs,” explains Keating.

All the information you need to sign up to be an organ donor is on the organ donation section of our website.

Do you have a health question? Send it to News8OnCall@wtnh.com.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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