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Questions resolved about organ donation

April is National Donate Life month, and we have the answers to common concerns.

We hear that it only takes a few minutes to sign up to be a life saver.

The process to become an organ donor is pretty simple.

"People can either go to the DMV and sign up on their driver's license, or go to Iowa Donor Network dot org and register there as well," says John Jorgensen, Donation Services Coordinator for Iowa Donor Network.

But not everything in the organ donation process is as straight forward.

First of all, depending on what age one registers, it may not be everyone's wishes to be an organ donor.

"We teach kids in drivers ed that they can register, but until the age of eighteen, their parents still have the right to say 'No, I don't want that'," says Jorgensen.

To combat this, encourage kids to tell their parents what their wishes are.

Second, coordinating a donation is not a task for one person.

"We have multiple organizations or entities within the hospital that are involved in the donation process," says Jorgensen.

This includes lab tests, cardiology and pulmonology units, the OR, and several surgeons.

Finally, respecting the beliefs of everyone involved is something that comes up often.

"We have cultures within cultures," says Jorgensen. "We have people who are of various race and religion and denominations, and each one of those looks at donation maybe in a completely different fashion. So how can I be respectful of their wishes?"

Jorgensen and his team do their best to find out as much about the donor and the recipient so they can understand better prior to saving lives.

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