Organ Donation in Iowa
Organ Donation in Iowa
The Iowa Donor Network (IDN) is the nonprofit organization in charge of organ, tissue, and eye donation for the state of Iowa. The Iowa Department of Transportation is a partner of the Iowa donor network and helps with organ donation registration.
In Iowa, there are currently 23 people on the waiting list for a heart, 518 people waiting for a kidney, and 36 people waiting for a liver.
Any Iowa resident can be considered for organ donation. There are no age requirements and no costs associated with the procedure.
Register as an Organ Donor
NOTE: If you are at least 18 years old, you may register with the Iowa Donor Network. With written permission, and in certain cases, a consent form from a parent or guardian, anyone 17 years old or younger can also register with the Iowa Donor Network.
You can register online or in person at your local IA DOT office.
To register, you can:
- Sign up on the Iowa Donor Network website and fill out the required information.
- Register through ORGANIZE.org, a national registry database that allows your registration to follow you from state to state.
You will not need a driver's license or other ID, but you must include date of birth, e-mail, address, and other pertinent information.
When you apply for your Iowa driver's license at your local Iowa Department of Transportation office, you will be asked if you would like to register as an organ donor. If you check "yes" on your Iowa driver's license application form, you've given legal consent to donate your organs after your death.
To get the organ donor information on your license, you will need to apply for an updated license.
NOTE: If you wish to also donate your corneas and tissue or allow your organs to be used in medical research, you must be listed on the Iowa Donor Registry as well.
Important Details About Organ Donation
There are absolutely no fees associated with organ donations, as the Organ Procurement Organization (OPO) covers all related costs.
In order for the OPO to utilize and pass on your organs, you must have died from an automobile accident, stroke, aneurysm, or other irreparable neurological injury. Moreover, blood and oxygen must continue to flow to the organs until they can be recovered. Further, only after all efforts have been taken to save the patient's life can donation be a possibility. The state donor registry than looks through the donor database and must obtain consent from a relative, spouse, or other authorized representative. The national transplant waiting list is then searched to determine a suitable candidate.
While your medical history will affect how many of your organs are usable, it will not automatically bar you from being considered for organ donation. For example, many cancer patients can still be approved as donors.
Donated organs are distributed to transplant recipients based on factors such as length of time on the waiting list, blood type, geographical location, and severity of illness. Criteria such as income, age, gender, or race are never considered.
Update/Change Your Organ Donation Status
You update your registry information by logging into the Iowa Donor Network website and update any information you wish including your address and the type of organs you are willing to donate. You can also update it through ORGANIZE.org.
You have the option, too, of visiting an IA DOT office to update your information there.
How You Can Help With Organ Donation
Instead of waiting until you pass to help those in need, there are other ways to support people on organ transplant waiting lists. You can:
- Become a living donor in which you are able to donate an organ or part of an organ to a recipient. Living donors can donate a portion of the pancreas, a lobe of a single lung, or a segment of the liver.
- Make a monetary contribution: The Iowa Donor Network also accepts monetary donations by individuals who want to support the cause. Donating in this way can help the registry continue operations and help with saving lives.
- Purchase Organ and Tissue Donor Awareness license plates to spread awareness of the program. Choose from numbered plates or personalized plates and complete the Organ and Tissue Donor Awareness License Plate Application to receive your awareness plates.
Organ Donation Myths
While organ donation rates have increased slightly in recent years, there are still many misconceptions about the process. A common organ donation myths is that some people can't donate because of their religious beliefs. Roman Catholicism, Islam, Buddhism, Judaism, Protestantism, and all other major religions now support organ donation.
For more information about other misconceptions with organ donation, please visit our page about Organ Donation Myths.