Receiving an organ donation looks to be getting tougher. Although donor rates climbed 73 percent nationally in the last decade, the waiting list ballooned by 138 percent. Experts predict that the gap will continue to widen unless two types of donors increase their consent rates.
They include citizens older than 50 years who incorrectly believe they cannot donate organs, should something happen. In fact, someone may be able to be a donor up to age 80, according to Alex McDonald, director of public education for Intermountain Donor Services.
Two-thirds of the waiting list for organ donation is for kidney transplants, so the agency is also reaching out to living, non-related donors who could give a kidney through the Good Samaritan Donor Program.
Nationally, more than 89,000 people are waiting for an organ transplant, including 290 in Utah.
To learn more about organ and tissue donation, visit the state's donor registry at www.yesutah.org or call 1-866-937-8824 (YES-UTAH).