El Paso embraces National Donate Life Month
EL PASO, Texas —
The month of April is National Donate Life Month.
Southwest Transplant Alliance and Donate Life Texas are teaming up to spread awareness of how instrumental organ donations are to saving lives. According to Sam Davis, vice president of client services at Southwest Transplant Alliance, there are more than 10,000 people in the state of Texas whose life may depend on an organ transplant.
“When we’re talking about saving lives through organ donation, up to eight people may be saved with your donation. Sometimes, more than one organ goes to the same person, but nonetheless, it’s an opportunity when one life ends, another can begin, and that’s why I feel this is one of the most unique, if not the most unique, fields of health care,” Davis said.
The two organizations are celebrating the fact that more than 60 percent of residents in El Paso have registered to donate their organs after they pass away, but they would like to see that percentage increase. Nationwide, there are more than 114,000 people waiting on an organ donation.
During National Donate Life month, Davis says, professionals in the organ donation and transplant field try to spread the word about the importance of organ donation. He also states that makes it easier for families when loved one pass away.
“When the time comes, if it’s possible for you to be an organ donor, then we don’t need any other permission and your family doesn’t have to make that decision. It’s one thing that’s off their mind,” Davis said.
Number indicate that someone is placed on an organ donation waiting list approximately every 10 minutes and that 22 people die each day as a result of not getting an organ they need in time.
According to Davis, one of the main problems is that some people don’t know how to become a donor. Most people who are donors make the decision when they receive or renew their driver’s license. However, not everyone drives.
“We talk about this as a national public health issue because someone here in the El Paso area, who needs and organ transplant… it may come from another state. It may not come from Texas. We need the system, we need the public to do the right thing, and that’s say ‘yes’ to organ donation,” Davis said.
Davis encouraged those who are not organ donors to go to www.donatelifetexas.org/elpaso. There, they can read about the facts of organ donation, answer a few questions, and become a donor in about five minutes.