Health Dept. urges New Yorkers to register as organ donors on National Donor Day

ALBANY, N.Y.The New York State Department of Health encourages New Yorkers on Valentine’s Day to register as an organ donor. National Donor Day is observed every year on February 14 to spread awareness and education about the lifesaving impact of organ and tissue donation.

There are almost 8,000 New Yorkers currently on the national transplant waiting list; approximately 7,000 of them are waiting for a kidney. Some people wait years before getting the call that an organ is available for them, and for others that call never comes. Each year, almost 500 New Yorkers die because an organ does not come in time to save their lives.

Tissue transplants include corneas from donated eyes, skin that can be used for breast reconstruction for cancer survivors, skin that can save the lives of burn victims, or other tissues that allow a person to walk again.

In joining the NYS Donate Life Registry donors give legal consent to the donation of their organs, tissues, and eyes in the event of their death. Donors can determine what they want to give, including specific organs and tissues, as well as identify whether the donation is for transplant, research, or both.

By joining the registry, New Yorkers can donate organs, and tissues, including:

  • Organs: Heart, kidneys, pancreas, lungs, liver, and intestines.
  • Tissues: Eyes, corneas, skin, bone, ligaments, blood vessels, nerves, cartilage, and connective tissues.

All New Yorkers age 16 and older can register to save lives by enrolling in the New York State Donate Life Registry or through the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). The registration database is confidential, and individuals can access their registration at any time to make changes.

In New York, roughly 84 percent of current registrants have done so through the DMV when applying for or renewing their driver’s license, learner’s permit, or non-driver ID, registering a vehicle or via the myDMV website.

Register as an Organ and/or Tissue Donor Here.

Frequently asked questions about organ donation and the registry can be found here.