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Wear The Gown: The need for organ donors and debunking organ donor myths

Over 100,000 people in the U.S. are waiting for a life-saving organ

SAN ANTONIO — There are over 100,000 men, women, and children desperately waiting for an organ to save their lives. In tonight's Wear The Gown we look into why so many people are not registered to be an organ donor, and what can be done about it.

The top two reasons so many people are not registered to be an organ donor, they don't have the opportunity to register and don't know where to go. A big part of that has to do with your drivers license, which is the number one way people register.  

"If you get your renewal in Texas, that's about once every four years. So it's only once every four years you might be presented with that question," said Jennifer Milton who is the Chief Administrator for the University Health Transplant Institute and the current national chair of Donate Life America, an organization dedicated to increase the number of deceased and living organ donors across the country.

 She says there are two great examples of creative ways people are informed on how to become a donor. 

"One is Texas recently began to allow you to register your wishes to be a donor when you got a hunting or fishing license," Milton told us.

"You set up your health app and it asks you if you want to be an organ donor and 5,000 people a day register their wishes on a health phone, on a health app, on an iPhone," Milton said.   

There are also several myths about organ donating that keep people from registering that just aren't true including...Rich and famous people go to the top of the list when they need a donor organ, you can't have an open casket if you've been an organ donor, I cannot become pregnant and have a child if I've donated an organ, only young and healthy people can be donors. And the big one, if I agree to donate my organs, doctors and emergency medical teams won't try as hard to save my life. 

"When you come to arrive to at a hospital or doctor's office or emergency room, all efforts will be made exhausted to save your life," Milton told us. "And it's not until after your life can't be saved that anyone would even check if you were a registered organ donor or begin that conversation with your family."  

For more information about how to become an organ donor both when living and after death. To learn more about how to become a living donor click here: 

To learn about register to become a donor after death click here.

You can register in less than two minutes by clicking here.

For more information on family health call 210-358-3045. You can also find the rest of our Wear The Gown stories just go to WearTheGown.com.

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