Organ Donation: What to do When a Loved One Dies
Your loved one has passed away and you're not sure what to do regarding organ donation. To help make the situation easier, we will discuss how to check if your loved one is an organ donor, who to notify if their organs are to be donated and the steps to take to ensure their organs can be donated.
Your loved one may have expressed a desire to donate their organs. To verify that they are an organ donor, check the back of their driver’s license. There may also be a signed form at the decedent’s hospital or doctor’s office, or a note in their Will.
If your loved one is an organ donor and passes away at home, you must contact the paramedics immediately and let the dispatcher know that the decedent is a potential organ donor and time is of the essence. If the death occurs at the hospital, notify the appropriate staff of the situation to ensure they act quickly because in order for an organ to be donated, blood and oxygen must flow through the organ until the time of recovery.
In some instances, there may never have been a discussion with your loved one regarding them becoming an organ donor. If your family is considering allowing the decedent’s organs to be donated, the decision will need to be made quickly and the hospital or paramedics notified.
For additional information on organ donations, go to http://www.organdonor.gov/index.html.
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