Vol.18  No.1116 Friday Edition, November 16, 2018 Fourth news page
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Health Ministry confirmed driver’s
licenses will indicate organ donation
By A.M. Costa Rica staff

The Health Ministry confirmed that all persons who request a driver's license or have to renew the document must indicate whether or not they authorize the donation of their organs and tissues in case of death.

The question about donation of organs and tissues will be in the medical section of the driver’s license application.  It is hoped that this will increase the number of potential donors and decrease the list of patients awaiting transplants.

Andres Castillo, president of the Doctors College, says that "reality tells us that there is a very significant deficit in the number of volunteers who are willing to become donors with respect to those who urgently need a transplant, and we believe that this measure will have a positive impact on the increase in the list of donors."

The College also recently implemented an internal campaign to train its members to explain to their patients or clients the importance of organ donation.

According to Giselle Amador, Health Minister, "a person who donates their organs will be saving on average the lives of eight people."

"A person who decides to be a donor, can contribute by providing corneas, skin, bone, ligaments, tendons, heart valves, blood vessels, kidneys, liver, heart, lungs, pancreas and intestine, while the living donor can provide kidney, pulmonary lobe, liver segment, bone marrow and bone when he dies," said Amador.

Organ and tissue donation can save the lives of thousands of people who are waiting for transplants and can give sight to the blind.

Health Ministry courtesy photo

In 2017 the list of patients who needed a transplant was 1,137.

People also have the possibility to express their willingness to be donors in the clinics that they attend for medical attention (either public or private) and, in the next months, it will also be a data that is included in the Identification Documents ( ID).

According to the Ministry, in the 2009-2017 period 209 cadaver donors were registered, but the list of patients who needed a transplant was 1,137. During 2017, 40 kidney, 10 liver and 4 heart transplants were performed in the country, while tissue transplants included 32 skeletal muscle, 11 amniotic membrane, 10 heart valve, 10 blood vessel, and 2 skin transplants.

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