Observed each year on February 14th, National Donor Day (also known as National Organ Donor Day) aims to increase awareness about organ donation and the lives it saves. In the United States, more than 120,000 people are waiting for a life-saving organ donation.
Give the gift of Life.
The observance focuses on five different types of donations: Organs – Tissues – Marrow – Platelets – Blood. Many nonprofit health organizations sponsor blood and marrow drives and organ/tissue sign-ups across the nation. Approximately every two seconds, there is someone in the U.S. who needs blood, which translates to the need for over 41,000 daily donations.
Each type of donation saves lives. While we may be able to donate blood, platelets, tissue, marrow, and some organs at any time, most organs are donated upon death. A single donor can save up to 8 lives and help more than 75 people.
Some blood donors have been making donations as young as the age of 17. They can donate a pint of blood every 53 days. One pint of blood can save up to three people. If you’ve never thought about donation, you’re of the 17 percent of non-donors. However, only 37 percent of the population of the United States is eligible to donate blood.
HOW TO OBSERVE #NationalDonorDay
- Sign up for blood donation.
- If you’ve received the gift of an organ, tissue, marrow, platelets, or blood, share your story.
- Look into becoming a donor. Visit donatelifenw.org and organdonor.gov for more information on organ donation.
- Use #NationalDonorDay to post on social media.
NATIONAL DONOR DAY HISTORY
National Donor Day was started in 1998 by the Saturn Corporation and its United Auto Workers partners, with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services support and many nonprofit health organizations.
Q. How many blood donors are in the United States?
A. The Red Cross estimates that 6.8 million people donate blood in the United States each year.
Q. What organs can be donated?
A. According to organdonor.gov, the following can be donated:
- heart valves
- blood vessels
- connective tissue
- bone marrow
- stem cells
- umbilical cord blood
- peripheral blood stem cells