Organ and tissue donation saves and heals lives. It offers the hope for a productive, healthy life for those in need. Every day, transplant recipients return to their families, friends, and communities – all through the generosity of individuals willing to give the gift of life through organ, eye, and tissue donation.
DonorConnect is the organization that connects donors with recipients. We facilitate, coordinate, educate, honor, and advocate for donors and donor families so that one day no one on a transplant waiting list dies or is limited from the lack of a life-saving organ or tissue.
Anyone can be a potential organ and tissue donor, regardless of age or medical condition.
All residents who are at least 18 years of age may register their authorization to donate specific or all organs and tissues upon their death. Children between the ages of 13 and 17 may also join the registry. Until the designated donor is 18 years old, however, parents (or a legal guardian) will make the final decision about organ and tissue donation.
Due to federal privacy laws prohibiting the collection of personal information for individuals under age 13, the registry is unable to accept registrations for children 12 years old and younger; however, in the event of death, children of any age have the potential to donate. Until registrants and non-registrants alike are 18 years old, their parents (or legal guardian) will make the final decision about organ and tissue donation.
Don’t rule yourself out because of any health condition including diabetes, high blood pressure, cancer, or because you may not be eligible to donate blood. Eligibility is determined on a case-by-case basis at the time of death.
Yes, the first priority for medical personnel is to save the lives of their patients. Organ and tissue donation is not discussed until every life-saving option is exhausted and death has been declared or is imminent. The doctors and nurses at the medical center are completely separated from those who work for the organ and tissue recovery organizations. DonorConnect is the only agency that has access to the information on the Utah and Idaho Donor Registry
Nothing. There is no charge to the donor, the donor’s family, or the donor’s estate. After death has been declared, all donation related charges are billed to the organ procurement organization, including all laboratory tests, surgical fees, and doctor’s fees.
Yes. Organ and tissue donation involves standard surgical techniques, and the suture lines are located where clothing will cover them. Prosthetic devices are used with bone and eye donation to maintain body form. Organ and tissue donors may opt for open casket funerals, depending on family wishes and original injuries.
Yes. You can specify what you would like to donate when you register or edit your donor information online.
Gender does not influence the allocation of donated organs, eyes or tissues.
Although it is possible for a candidate to match a donor from another ethnic group, often transplant success rates increase (due to tissue compatibility) when organs are matched between members of the same ethnic background.
Nationally, ethnic minorities make up of 60 percent of the National Transplant Waiting List.
When a donated organ becomes available, a list is generated from United Network of Organ Sharing (UNOS) which ranks recipients based on severity of illness, length of time on the waiting list, size compatibility of organs, blood type, tissue type, and proximity to donor (because of time constraints on donated organs). Things such as income, occupation, gender, and race are not considered when an organ is placed.
Only about 2% of deaths meet brain death criteria and have the potential to become organ donors. With new technology and medical procedures, more lives can be saved through organ transplantation. Many of the people waiting for a transplant are children, and few adult donors can donate to children due to organ size. The number of organs donated hasn’t been able to keep pace with the need and thousands of people die every year on the waiting list. When you consider that one organ donor can save up to nine lives through organ donation and improve dozens more through tissue donation, the importance of becoming a donor is much more apparent.
Most religions support and consider donation an act of charity. If you have any questions about the beliefs of your religion regarding donation, discuss them with your spiritual leader. The U. S. Department of Health and Human Services has compiled a list of statements from major religions regarding donation. Theological Perspective on Organ and Tissue Donation
Organ and tissue recovery is performed in a sterile surgical facility using qualified surgical personnel and protocols. All donations are treated with respect and dignity.
Funding for organ recovery activities is derived from standard acquisition fees charged to the transplant centers receiving the organs. These acquisition fees include expenses for surgeons, compatibility testing, transportation, donor hospitals, and clinical coordinators. DonorConnect bills the transplant center, which, in turn, bills the recipient and their health insurance. Funding for tissue recovery activities is derived from standard fees charged to the tissue processing agency, which, in turn, bills the physicians and hospitals utilizing these tissues.
DonorConnect’s focus is on life-saving organ and tissue donation and does not have a whole-body donation program. If you are interested in whole body donation, we recommend you reach out to your local university hospital.
The Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) is a partner in signing the public up to be a registered organ, eye, and tissue donor. The DMV does not have access to our secure and confidential database.
DonorConnect’s family support coordinators and staff are with the family throughout the donation process guiding and supporting them.
“A Guide for Families" booklet was created as an additional resource given to families with explanations about the donation processes, timelines, and resources to help them grieve.