SPRINGFIELD — In addition to providing care during the pandemic last year, Mercy Medical Center providers made sure all patients who had the potential for organ or tissue donation had the opportunity to do so. In 2020, Mercy providers worked with New England Donor Services (NEDS) staff to support one patient’s wish to be a donor, ultimately saving the lives of four other individuals through organ donation. Mercy clinicians also cared for four patients who provided tissue donations, thereby enhancing the lives of up to 100 individuals with the gifts of corneas, bones, tendons, and skin.
NEDS coordinates organ and tissue donation in Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, the eastern counties of Vermont and Bermuda. Through its federally designated organ-procurement organization, NEDS serves thousands of donor families each year who have made the decision to donate and honors the wishes of those who registered as donors and gave the gift of life.
Currently, approximately half of the U.S. adult population is registered as organ and tissue donors, yet the number of people in need of transplants continues to outpace the number of organs donated. More than 110,000 people are waiting for a transplant and a second chance at life. On average, 22 people die each day because the organ they need is not donated in time. Another person is added to the waiting list every 10 minutes. Registering become a donor at registerme.org or by using one’s iPhone Health App is the most effective way to save lives through donation and is a sign of support to those who continue to wait.