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I have a bit of a morbid question regarding organ donation...

(12 Posts)
ALovelyBunch0fCoconuts Sat 08-Feb-14 10:25:47

I am on the organ donor register and whilst I hope it doesn't need to come into play for a good many years yet, I wondered last night how, when I die, will people know??

I carry the card around in my purse but what happens? If/when I die, how will whoever finds me know to take me pretty quickly to hospital to remove my organs?

Obviously they need to be in the optimum condition for the receiver to have the best chance but this worries me. Nobody will know and it'll all be in vain.

And also, how do you donate your body to science? Since all my organs will be removed it seems silly to cremate just my skin, bones and brain so can I be donated to science even if all my organs are spoken for?

Is it possible to do both? Or do they cancel each other out?

I spoke to my DH about this and he just said he has no idea so thought I best ask you lovely lot grin

mrsjay Sat 08-Feb-14 10:29:37

there is the register they will find you on that and they will ask your next of kin anyway and I think you need to be kept alive for them to take your organs so you are put on life support, donating to science not a clue

what a cheery subject for a Saturday morning grin

ALovelyBunch0fCoconuts Sat 08-Feb-14 10:32:44

So does anyone know any statistics for the percentage of people on the register that actually end up donating? I guess if I meet a grizzly and sudden end things might not go to plan.

Spacefrog35 Sat 08-Feb-14 10:35:17

There was a thread on here a couple of weeks ago about donating your body to science. I don't know if it will have disappeared by now though

mrsjay Sat 08-Feb-14 10:35:17

your are asessed (sp) from transplantation anyway so all your organs might not be used, MY cousin died years ago and some not all of his organs were used

rubystiles Sat 08-Feb-14 10:35:59

To be able to donate your organs you do have to 'die' whilst in hospital. So, for example - if you were to die from natural causes at home you then wouldn't be able to donate your organs as they would not be in a viable state. If however, you were to have a fall with a serious head injury which required you to be admitted to an ICU and you did not wake up from that - the subject of organ donation could be broached with your family.

Just to make it clear though - the medical staff will do everything they can to treat you before declaring you are 'brain dead' and a series of tests have to be undertaken by 2 seperate consultants with no relation to transplant before you are declared brain dead.

It's a good question as most people will automatically presume if you're on the organ donation list you will go on to donate your organs which isn't the case.

WooWooOwl Sat 08-Feb-14 10:36:44

If you are in a position to donate, they will check the register and ask your next of kin.

I'd have thought it's better to be on the register rather than just carrying the card, but I'm not sure that it makes a huge difference.

TheMinionsHaveThePhonebox Sat 08-Feb-14 10:37:16

Organ Donation Scotland say on their FAQ page that only someone who has died in hospital can donate their organs, presumably because everything needs to be carefully controlled after death to allow the organs to be viable.

justabigdisco Sat 08-Feb-14 10:43:04

Also, if you donate your organs, you can't donate your body. They need the organs 'in situ' as they use them to teach anatomy to students.

Spacefrog35 Sat 08-Feb-14 10:43:46
Moreisnnogedag Sat 08-Feb-14 10:47:20

The actual number of people who are able to donate organs is relatively small. All most all out of hospital deaths would be in eligible (apart from corneal donations I think) and then even those who are in hospital need to have the 'right' type of death in order for the organs to be viable. This is why it's s

ALovelyBunch0fCoconuts Sat 08-Feb-14 11:10:44

Just been having a little google and it definitely seems that carrying a card isn't enough. I need to contact the nearest organ donation hospital and they will send me forms. I actually work for the NHS so I do have access to all these numbers but it's not necessarily a conversation that comes up at work!

It also seems that donating body to science and organ donation are mutually exclusive so I'll sign up properly for organ donation and brain donation at my nearest brain bank and make sure everyone knows my wishes.

DH thinks it's very selfless but it just seems the right thing to do for me. I'm very much a "once I'm dead I'm dead" type person so it seems silly all that waste of money on a funeral.

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