Hospital increasing organ donation awareness

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RUMFORD — More than 100,000 Americans are waiting for lifesaving organ transplants and many more wait for donated tissues. On average, 17 people in the U.S. die every day waiting for an organ transplant. There is a tragic shortage of donated organs and tissues.

Rumford Hospital has six organ donation liaisons who can help donors or families understand more about organ and tissue donation. Anne Marie Mahar, RN, is available by appointment to help prospective donors complete the necessary paperwork or to talk with families who are considering donation of a loved ones organs. Call 369-1000 to reach Mahar.

“The need is great,” said Mahar, “and the process of becoming a donor is so simple.”

Maine is one of the five New England states that allows drivers to register for organ and tissue donation on their drivers’ licenses. When Mainers renew their licenses, they can sign up to be a donor of organs and tissues and the information is recorded in the New England Registry.

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Signing up as a donor directly through the Donate Life New England Organ and Tissue Donor Registry allows the donor to specify or limit their donation to a certain type of donation, organ or tissue. To sign up with the registry, go to www.DonateLifeNewEngland.org.

“One organ donor can save the lives of seven people, and one tissue donor can help more than 50 people,” said Mahar. “We want to make certain that an individual’s choice to donate organs and tissues is honored.”

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