Saving lives

SC lags in organ donor registration

Staff ReportsJuly 28, 2013 

Specialty license plate that SC vehicle owners can purchase.

SOUTH CAROLINA DEPT OF MOTOR VEH

About 22 percent of people who get a new driver’s license in South Carolina sign up for organ donation, a rate well below the national rate in this year’s National Donor Designation Report Card.

The national rate is about 45 percent, according to the report card compiled annually by Donate Life America. Montana (82 percent) and Alaska (80 percent) have the highest rates.

Of the 36 states that allow organ donor registration through drivers licenses, only New York (12.7) and Texas (19.1) have lower rates than South Carolina (21.7). South Carolina has 1,169,331 registered donors.

If you want to sign up as an organ donor but don’t plan to get or renew your driver’s license soon, you can sign up online at http://www.donatelifesc.org.

More than 120,000 people nationwide, including nearly 1,000 in South Carolina, are awaiting organ transplants, according to the report.

In South Carolina, 103 people became organ donors at their deaths during 2012 and helped save more than 300 lives in South Carolina and across the nation.

South Carolina did not have an Organ and Tissue Donor Registry prior to December of 2008. The heart on many S.C. driver’s licenses obtained before then only indicated intent to be a donor but did not put individuals in a registry.

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