Donate Life Vermont
Donate Life Vermont is a combined social initiative devised of passionate volunteers, advocates and the two federally designated organ procurement organizations – the Center for Donation and Transplant and the New England Organ Bank – that cover the state of Vermont. The mission of Donate Life Vermont is to raise awareness of organ, eye and tissue donation and increase the number of people registered to be an organ donor in the state of Vermont.
About the Center for Donation and Transplant
The Center for Donation & Transplant (CDT) is the federally designated non-profit health care organization that coordinates the retrieval of donated organs and tissues at more than 43 hospitals and over 30 counties throughout northeastern New York State and western Vermont. CDT ensures that the option of donation is offered to families in an informative and compassionate manner, and provides support to families and hospital personnel involved in the donation process. CDT is an accredited member of the Association of Organ Procurement Organizations and a member in good standing with the United Network for Organ Sharing.
About New England Organ Bank
The New England Organ Bank is the oldest independent organ procurement organization in the country. It is the federally-designated, non-profit procurement organization for all or part of the six New England states with a population of over 11 million. NEOB serves over 160 acute care hospitals for organ and tissue donation and 12 transplant centers. NEOB is an accredited member in good standing of the Association of Organ Procurement Organizations, the American Association of Tissue Banks and the United Network for Organ Sharing.
Organ and tissue transplants offer those in need a second chance at a healthy life and returns loved ones to their family, friends, and communities. State organ and tissue donor registries allow people to document their decision to donate organs and tissues at the time of their passing.
More than 120,000 people in the United States are on the waiting list for a life-saving organ transplant. Every ten minutes, someone new is added to the list. In Vermont alone, hundreds of community members are waiting for their call – the call stating that a matching, transplantable organ has become available and it is their turn on the list.
When just one person signs up to be an organ and tissue donor, he or she can save up to 8 lives through organ donation and enhance the lives of 50 others through tissue donation. While the number of registrants on the organ and tissue registry in Vermont has grown quickly over the last few years, the need for donated organs still far outweighs the number of organs available for transplant. Sadly, an average of 22 people dies each day because the healthy organ they need is not made available (through donation) in time.
A growing gap between those who need transplants and those who actually receive them persists, making it more important than ever that Vermonters are aware that they can save lives and offer hope to families by registering to be an organ, eye and tissue donor in their state. When a person signs up on his or her state’s registry, the person is giving legal, first-person consent to give the gift of life if donation is a medically viable option at the time of his or her passing.
There is more than one way to leave a legacy through donation
After all efforts to save the patient’s life have been exhausted, tests may be performed to confirm the absence of brain or brain stem activity, and the progression or potential progression to brain death. A person who has progressed to brain death or has the potential to do so may be a candidate for organ donation. With compassion, care and support for the donor’s family, each candidate is clinically evaluated for donor suitability. Deceased donors can give kidneys, pancreas, liver, lungs, heart, and intestinal organs. Deceased donors also can provide tissues (such as bones, skin, heart valves and veins) and corneas.
While the majority of solid organ and tissue donations occur after the donor has died, some organs and tissues can be donated while the donor is alive. Depending on the organ in need, living donation has become an option for discussion amongst transplant candidates. Most living donations happen among family members or between close friends. Some living donations take place altruistically between two strangers. A living donor can donate a kidney, potentially a lobe of their liver, and in rare cases, a portion of the lung, pancreas, or intestines.