Ask The Doc: Why should I become an organ donor?

Rodrigo Vianna, M.D. | 4/17/2014, 9 a.m.

Becoming a donor is simple: you can register online or at a driver’s license office. If you sign up, remember to share your decision with your family and friends.

After careful consideration, Flores-Centrella made the decision to donate her mother’s organs.

“She would have thought it was a great thing because she was so helpful and always helped anyone in need,” Flores-Centrella said.

Flores-Centrella, who began volunteering for Life Alliance and now works for the organization as a family advocate, said she later learned that her mother’s gift saved the lives of three others.

At the Miami Transplant Institute, a unique affiliation between Jackson Memorial Hospital and the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, 460 life-saving transplants were performed last year on adults and children. Jackson Memorial is the only Florida hospital to perform every type of organ transplant, including intestinal and multivisceral transplantation.

Yet, there are approximately 1,900 patients at the Miami Transplant Institute still waiting for the life-changing call that an organ has become available.

People die each day waiting for transplants because of the shortage of available organs in the United States. But one organ donor has the ability to make a profound difference by saving the lives of up to eight critically ill people, and tissue donors can save or improve the lives of hundreds more.

To learn more about organ donation or to register online, visit www.donatelifeflorida.org. For more information about the Miami Transplant Institute and living kidney donation, visit www.MiamiTransplant.org.

Rodrigo Vianna, M.D., is the director of transplant services at the Miami Transplant Institute and director of liver and GI transplantation. Dr. Vianna is one of the world’s most experienced multi-organ transplant surgeons.