Press Kit


  • One organ donor can save the lives of up to 8 people.
  • Transplanted organs include the kidneys, liver, heart, lungs, pancreas and intestines.
  • One tissue donor can improve the lives of up to 50 people.
  • Transplanted tissues include corneas, heart valves, skin, bone, tendons, and veins.


  • More than 117,00 people await life-saving organ transplants in the U.S. (3/13).
  • 715 New Mexicans await kidney, heart, liver, lung, pancreas and intestine transplants (3/13).
  • A new name is added to the national waiting list every 11 minutes, an average of 132 people a day.
  • 19 patients die each day awaiting a transplant because the organ they needed was not available in time.


  • Over 28,052 life-saving organ transplants were performed in the U.S. in 2012.
  • The Gift of Life was given by 14,013 organ donors in 2012 in the U.S.
  • 1 million tissue transplants are performed every year in the U.S. including 46,000 cornea transplants


  • There were 34 New Mexicans who gave the Gift of Life through organ donation, resulting in 91 life-saving organ transplants.
  • The quality of life of over 7,000 individuals will be dramatically improved as a result of 257 New Mexicans who donated tissue.
  • The Gift of Sight was given by 247 New Mexicans resulting in over 300 corneal transplants.


  • Register to be an Organ Donor at MVD (Motor Vehicle Division) when obtaining or renewing a driver’s license or ID card. A RED HEART indicates the person’s decision to be an organ and tissue donor.
  • 50% of New Mexicans have registered to be donors on their driver’s license or ID card.
  • Individuals under age 15 need parental or guardian consent to register as organ and tissue donors with MVD.
  • The MVD organ donor registry is checked at the time of death to determine donation status.
  • An individual can also specify their donation decision in an Advance Directive for Health Care or Donor Card.
  • Family members can’t change an individual’s decision to donate.
  • Next-of-kin make the decision to donate when a loved one has not registered their decision.


  • Minorities represent 79% of organ transplant candidates in New Mexico.
  • Hispanics represent 41% of patients awaiting kidney transplants in New Mexico.
  • Native Americans represent 34% of patients awaiting kidney transplants in New Mexico.
  • Minorities are more likely to suffer from conditions that lead to organ failure, such as diabetes, hypertension, and hepatitis.


  • REGISTERING AS AN ORGAN DONOR WILL NOT COMPROMISE YOUR MEDICAL CARE: Donation is only considered after all life-saving efforts have failed and death has been pronounced.
  • FAMILIES DO NOT PAY FOR DONATION COSTS: There is never any cost to the donor family or estate for the gift of donation.
  • A FUNERAL IS POSSIBLE AFTER DONATION: In most cases, organ, tissue and eye donation does not interfere with an open-casket viewing. Before moving forward with a procedure we provide information to families and answer their questions to ensure we fully understand their wishes. The recovery of organs, tissues and eyes is preformed by qualified surgeons and recovery staff in a sterile environment. As in any other surgical procedure, the body is treated with the utmost respect and care.
  • RELIGIONS SUPPORT DONATION : All major religions in the U.S. support donation as an unselfish act of charity that will save or enhance someone’s life.
  • DONORS ARE NOT JUST THE YOUNG AND HEALTHY: A medical evaluation, not age, determines what can be donated at the time of death. The oldest organ donor was 96 years old. Individuals with diabetes, hepatitis, high blood pressure and other diseases are candidates for organ donation, and cancer patients can donate corneas for transplant.


  • Organ donation is an option for individuals who have had a traumatic brain injury in which brain death is determined. Brain death is a medical and legal determination of death resulting from a brain injury resulting in lack of blood flow and oxygen to the brain.
  • Less than 1% of all deaths in the U.S. are determined to be brain deaths.
  • Organs that may be donated after brain death declaration include the kidneys, liver, heart, lungs, pancreas and intestines.
  • Organs must be transplanted within hours. A heart must be transplanted within 4 hours, while kidneys have up to 48 hours for transplant.
  • Organ donation after cardiac death may be an option when families are faced with the decision of removing ventilator support in a hospital setting. Organs that may be donated include kidneys and liver.
  • Tissue donation is an option for anyone who dies a cardiac death in or out of a hospital.
  • Tissue that may be donated include corneas/eyes, heart valves, skin, bone, tendons, and veins.
  • Tissue is needed to replace bone, tendons and ligaments affected by cancer, degenerative joint disease, arthritis and injuries.
  • Bone transplants can prevent the need for amputation or multiple surgical sites during spinal fusion.
  • Skin is urgently needed for patients with severe burns and can mean the difference between life and death.
  • Heart Valves replace those damaged by disease or deformities and offer the chance of an active life for many children and adults.
  • Eye tissue restores sight.