AMA: Utah is ranked fourth internationally for organ donation

An article recently published in the Journal of the American Medical Association explored the practices of organ donation registration. It looked at the number of donors per 10,000 deaths in each state and 43 countries around the world. Based on this data, Utah ranked fourth of the 93 states/countries measured, according to a press release from an organization called Donor Connect.

As the organ recovery agency that serves the state, DonorConnect officials expressed thanks to its community partners who help increase understanding about how organ and tissue donation saves and heals lives. “The Driver License Division in Utah is very supportive in our efforts to provide information to people when they are receiving a driver license or state ID card. The hospitals and transplant centers in Utah provide excellent care to their patients and work closely with DonorConnect and families when donation becomes an option,” said a statement in the press release.

In 2018, Utah saw a record number of families who said yes to donation, a record number of organ donors, and a record number of lives saved. “Currently the practice in Utah and throughout the United States gives individuals the opportunity to give permission for organ donation on their driver license, state ID, or an online registry. Knowing their loved one’s wishes is comforting to families at the time of death. If an individual’s wishes are not known at the time of death, the next of kin may grant permission for donation. We have found that the people in Utah are very giving by nature. People truly want to help others and if they can continue to help others after they are gone, they typically respond with, ‘Why wouldn’t I?’”

Officials from the organization say the need still outpaces the number of organs available for transplant. There are currently over 750 people on the waiting list in Utah. “Marking yes on your driver license, state ID card, or online at www.yesutah.org is an important first step. We also encourage people to talk to their family. A simple conversation makes a huge difference to a family if faced with making or honoring that decision for a loved one. Many families find comfort in knowing their loved one saved lives and will be remembered by another family as their hero,” said a statement in the press release.