Feb. 14 is National Organ Donation Awareness Day. Organ donations come in many forms.
Most often, organ donors are deceased — meaning their organs are harvested after death — but some organs can be donated by living donors.
Living organ donors can donate one kidney, one lung, or a portion of their liver, pancreas or intestines.
Deceased organ donors can donate much more — both kidneys and lungs; the heart, liver and pancreas; and both the large and small intestine.
But this list doesn’t include a multitude of other tissues that can be transplanted, such as skin and corneas.
In 2014, hands and faces were added to that organ transplant list.
Since 1961, more than 1.7 million men, women and children have had their sight restored through cornea transplantation.
Most people can donate their corneas. Exceptions include people with infections or highly communicable diseases, such as HIV or hepatitis.
Unlike organ donation, corneas can be recovered several hours after death and stored.
A cornea transplant can be performed within three to five days of the donation.
Donations can be made by anyone. Anyone can be a potential organ and tissue donors, regardless of age, health, race or ethnicity.
Age is not a factor for donation potential and most major religions support organ donations.
Even if they have an illness or other health condition, individuals may be able to donate organs or tissues upon their death.
More than 116,000 men, women and children are on the national transplant waiting list, as of August 2017.
In 2016, 33,611 transplants were performed.
For more information, www.organdonor.gov.