Organ Donation

Approximately 116,000 people are currently waiting for an organ donation in the U.S.:

  • 2,227 in Wisconsin
  • 3,213 in Minnesota
  • 612 in Iowa

Every 19 minutes someone dies awaiting a life-saving transplant. One person donating can save up to eight lives, in addition to enhancing or improving 50 or more.

Anyone could one day be in need of an organ donation. Donations are needed for people with illnesses such as:

  • Diabetes
  • High blood pressure
  • Cystic fibrosis
  • Heart failure
  • Kidney disease
  • Chronic medical problems
  • Many more

Gundersen Health System partners with University of Wisconsin Hospitals and Clinics for organ transplants. When a donor is at Gundersen, the organs can be recovered locally and sent on to UW Health if a donation match has been made.

In an emergency, your doctor(s) first priority is to save your life. Only after all efforts have been exhausted does organ donation come into the picture. The team treating you and trying to save your life is completely different from the recovery and transplant team.

Organs and tissues that can be donated include:

  • Heart
  • Kidneys
  • Lungs
  • Pancreas
  • Liver
  • Intestines
  • Corneas (coating of the eyeball)
  • Skin
  • Tendons
  • Bone
  • Heart valves
  • Veins
  • Middle ear
  • Ligaments

People who are living can donate a kidney or part of the:

  • Lung
  • Liver
  • Intestine
  • Pancreas

Click on the link in the left menu to become an organ donor today.

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