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Misperceptions Fuel Donor Crisis

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The number of Americans that have registered as organ and tissue donors is rising [2], but the registry still contains only 38% of licensed drivers, according to a survey conducted on behalf of Donate Life America [3].

steppinupMeanwhile, “the number of people awaiting organ transplants has climbed to more than 100,000, and an average of 18 people die each day waiting for organs,” said Donate Life America Chair Sara Pace Jones.

The online survey of 5,100 U.S. adults revealed several misperceptions about organ donation and the registration process.

For example, only 50% of respondents correctly believe physicians will try as hard to save their lives if the caregivers were to become aware of their wish to be an organ donor.

In addition, 44% mistakenly believe there is a black market in the US where people can buy or sell organs or tissue, and only 43% understand it is not possible [4] for a brain dead person to recover from his or her injuries.

“Those who support donation (need) to legally document those wishes, and registering through the DMV or state donor registries is the (best way) to do that. Anyone can find out how to register in their state by visiting www.donatelife.net [5] ”

“There is a real crisis taking place with regards to organ availability in this country – and dispelling commonly held misperceptions and increasing the public’s trust of the donation and transplant system is paramount when it comes to solving it,” said Pace Jones.

The online survey of adults in all 50 states was carried out by Survey Sampling International. The sample was designed to be representative of the US population as a whole.