There is a national registry at RegisterMe.org. All matters concerning organ and tissue donation are under the jurisdiction of each state’s respective laws. On Donate Life SC you are shown the option of going to the Donate Life America website to click on the state in question.
The most commonly transplanted organs are the kidneys, liver, heart, lungs, pancreas and small intestines.
As for tissues:
Many tissues that cannot be used for transplant can be recovered and used in a variety of research studies to advance cures for such potentially fatal diseases as Alzheimer’s, diabetes, cancer and others.
South Carolina is the service area of We Are Sharing Hope SC, the federally designated, non-profit organ procurement organization (OPO). We Are Sharing Hope is exclusively responsible for facilitating the donation process, and only the OPO’s authorized staff have access to both the donor and recipient medical information which makes accurate matching possible. Organ recovery and allocation are regulated by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, a division of the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services.
If a patient arrives at the hospital with a grave brain injury, the hospital is federally mandated to contact the local organ procurement organization (OPO). In South Carolina, LifePoint is the OPO. While the hospital continues aggressive life-saving efforts, LifePoint determines whether the patient is a registered organ and/or tissue donor. This information helps to guide the health care team regarding how the family should be approached should death be determined to be imminent for that patient.
Only if the patient is medically suitable to donate and only after the family has been informed of the patient’s imminent death is the opportunity to donate discussed with the family. Only after the family has been presented with documentation of the patient’s donor designation (which legally grants authorization to recover organs and/or tissues – or, in cases where there is no registration or donor card present, the family grants authorization) does the process move forward.
As a state-authorized public service, the South Carolina Donor Registry adheres to the strictest and most up-to-date guidelines to keep all personal information confidential. Aside from standard information such as name and address, the only sensitive information we require is place of birth, while mother’s maiden name and driver’s license number are optional. We collect this information because it is absolutely vital that we identify individual registrants with 100% certainty if they should ever be in a position to be an actual organ or tissue donor. We would never want to confuse a patient who is not registered with someone who is.
We assure you that every technical precaution is in place to protect the information from identity thieves. Of the 45+ state donor registries now in operation, there are no reported problems with unauthorized access to personal information.