1. Myth: If I am in an accident and the doctors or nurses find my donor card, they will not try to save my life.
Fact: Doctors, nurses and paramedics will do everything to try to save your life. In fact, an individual needs to be in the hospital and on a ventilator at the time of death in order to donate organs. CORE is not notified until all life-saving efforts have failed. The transplant team is not notified by CORE until after CORE has spoken with the individual's family.
2. Myth: My body will be mutilated and disfigured if I would donate.
Fact: Donated organs and tissue are removed surgically in the regular hospital operating room. Doctors maintain dignity and respect for the donor at all times.
3. Myth: Wealthy people are the only people who receive transplants.
Fact: Organs are matched first according to height, weight and blood type, followed by medical urgency and then time accrued on the waiting list. Fame and fortune do not determine who receives a transplant. Most major insurances now cover transplants.
4. Myth: I cannot choose what I want to donate.
Fact: You may specify what organs or tissues you want to donate on your donor card. Your wishes will be followed.
5. Myth: I am not the right age for donation.
Fact: Organs may be donated from someone as young as a newborn. There is no age limit for organ donation. The general age limit for tissue donation is 80 and cornea donation is 70.
6. Myth: If I do not sign a donor card, my organs and tissues won't be donated.
Fact: Without a donor card or donor designation, families of suitable donors will still be offered the opportunity to donate. To ensure your wishes are fulfilled, sign a donor card, place the designation on your license/state identification card and ensure your family knows your wishes.
7. Myth: My religion does not support donation.
Fact: All major religions either support donation or view it as an individual decision.
8. Myth: Only heart, liver and kidneys can be donated.
Fact: The pancreas, lungs, intestines and the stomach can also be donated, as can corneas, tendons, saphenous and femoral veins, fascia, heart valves, skin and bone.
9. Myth: Organs go to people who didn't take care of theirs.
Fact: Organs in fact go to people who were born with or developed diseases that have caused organ failure. Less than five percent of people awaiting transplant have destroyed their organ through substance abuse. For those people, they must achieve and sustain sobriety before they can be listed for transplant.
10. Myth: My organs aren't of any value because I have a history of medical illness.
Fact: Few illnesses or conditions prevent someone from being a donor. At the time of death, CORE will review medical and social histories to determine suitability.