Iowa faces a critical shortage of organs for transplants and waiting Iowans are dying as a result of the shortage. Sarah Robertson, spokeswoman for the Iowa Donor Network, says the state has seen a steady decline in the number of people who are eligible to donate in the last four years along with a 28-percent rise in people waiting for transplants. Robertson says more than 370 Iowans are now waiting for transplants and they’re dying because potential donors didn’t make their wishes known to their family members. Last year, 28 Iowans died waiting for an organ transplant and she says that number could rise in 2004. Robertson says people who want their organs donated after they die need to make sure their next of kin are clued in.She says checking “yes” on the organ donor area of your driver’s license is -not- enough to ensure you’ll become a donor. The best option is to sign up on the website “www.iowadonorregistry.org” and then share your wishes with your family members.About 75-percent of the Iowans who are waiting for organs are waiting for kidneys.The website is an on-line database of Iowans who wish to legally consent to donation prior to death. Once a person is on the registry, no other person can revoke those wishes, and no one else has to make these decisions for a loved one. For more details, call 877-DONOR-IA.
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