Montana leads the nation in organ donor registration - KXLH.com | Helena, Montana

Montana leads the nation in organ donor registration

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February 14th is celebrated as National Organ Donor Day.

Montana is first in the nation per capita with 89% of adults residents being registered organ donors.

Alaska and Washington ranked second and third on the list.

Last year, 26 Montanans donated their organs. 

Each donor can give up to eight organs, such as the heart, liver, and lungs. Hundreds of other people can be helped with tissues, nerves, and heart valves.

"Registering is a phenomenal thing I think for two reasons. One, obviously you've made this selfless choice to become a donor and save and enhance lives. The second thing is it really takes that decision off of your family. If you want to become a donor, register so that we can share your wishes with your family and then ensure that your living legacy is followed through," said LifeCenter Northwest representative Nicole Weiher.

In 2015, a total of 37,910 organs were donated, according to the U.S. government.

Most often, organ donors are deceased, but some organs can be donated by living donors.

Deceased organ donors can donate: kidneys (2), liver, lungs (2), heart, pancreas, and intestines. In 2014, hands and faces were added to the organ transplant list.

Living organ donors can donate: one kidney, a lung, or a portion of the liver, pancreas, or intestine.

Nearly six in 10 donors are deceased and about four out of 10 are living donors.

In addition, people can donate heart valves, corneas, bone marrow, and tendons.

The OrganDonor.gov website says that 95% of U.S. adults support organ donation, but only 48% are actually registered as donors.

To learn more, visit the OrganDonor.gov website.

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