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Now is perfect time to reflect on organ donation

Eighteen men, women and children die every day because a life-saving organ transplant did not come in time.

An Ohioan dies every other day while waiting. These aren’t just statistics; these are mothers, daughters, husbands, grandfathers, neighbors and friends.

These tragic losses could be prevented if more people register as organ and tissue donors.

More than 90 percent of Ohioans think donation is a good thing, but only 52 percent have taken action to register.

We are working to bridge that gap and save lives by clarifying myths surrounding donation.

For instance, nearly 30 percent of Ohioans polled in a recent survey believe that doctors are more interested in recovering organs from a potential donor than saving that person’s life.

This is the most common myth we hear and it is completely untrue.

A doctor’s main priority is to save the life in front of him and emergency personnel are not involved in the donation process, a separate medical team handles that.

Your status as a donor is not considered until everything has been done to save your life and death has been declared.

Many people polled also believed that one cannot have an open casket funeral after donation, which is untrue or that donation might be against their religion, when, in fact, all major religions support donation.

Because these myths remain, lives are lost every day.

April is Donate Life Month, a time to reflect on the importance of organ and tissue donation.

I urge you to learn the facts about donation for 106,000 Americans, including 3,000 Ohioans, who are waiting for a second chance at life through transplantation. The solution is in our hands if we are willing to take action.

You have the power to save lives, register today in the Ohio Donor Registry

To register or learn more, visit www.lifelineofohio.org or call 800-525-5667.

Kent Holloway

CEO, Lifeline of Ohio