Letter: Donate your organs to save a life

Tony Hakes

What happens when you mark “Yes” to organ donation on your driver’s license?

There is a critical need for organ, eye and tissue donors in Iowa. The easiest way to save and enhance lives is to mark “Yes” on your license and make sure your family understands your wishes.

Any Iowan who chooses to have a “Y” placed next to donor on his/her state issued ID is legally registering as an organ, eye and tissue donor. This means that upon death, this person has the potential to save up to nine lives through organ donation, enhance the lives of up to 100 or more through tissue donation, and give the gift of sight to as many as four people.

Organs that can be recovered are: lungs, kidneys, liver, pancreas, small intestine and heart. Tissues that can be recovered include: skin, bone, tendons, blood vessels, heart valves and corneas.

Once death has been declared (regardless of where the death occurs), a health care provider notifies Iowa Donor Network’s communication center, which is staffed 24 hours every day. IDN staff work with the health care team and family to help carry out the donor’s wishes.

A registered donor through the DMV does not need to take further action, such as registering online or filling out a donor card. No one should ever rule themselves out because of age, medical history or medical condition. Anyone, of any age or medical condition, can register as a donor.

Tony Hakes

Public Outreach Manager

Iowa Donor Network

North Liberty

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