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As a follow-up to a news story shared last year (May 4, 2012) regarding Facebook’s Announcement to Support Organ Donor Registrations, there have been some interesting results.

  • The average number of online organ donor registrations is 616 per day.
  • On the first day of the initiative, there were 13,054 new online registrations.
  • Within 12 days, the number of daily online registrations returned to the average norm.

Social media has impacted the world in ways that no one anticipated. Now it is starting to influence the way we consider organ donation as well. Facebook created a way for its users to share whether they are registered as a potential organ donor and also added links making it easier for Facebook users to sign up. In the first day of operation, online organ donor registries received over 20 times the normal traffic for registration.

The main basis for Facebook’s recent addition on organ donation is to make the public more aware of the need for Organ Donations. Many people may not be aware that a friend, colleague or family member may need an organ donation since it can be a difficult and awkward subject to bring up. Nearly everyone is aware of organ donation in the event of death, but the need for live organs like a kidney is also huge. Everyone has the potential to change or even save someone’s life by donating an organ.

Social Media Dramatically Increases Organ Donor Registration

Facebook’s influence on organ donor registrations was revealed in a study conducted by various researchers at Johns Hopkins University. The impact was commendable, but they recognized that a social media program will need to be deployed to continually energize the online initiative and keep the momentum moving forward. The study leader was Andrew M. Cameron, M.D., Ph.D., an associate professor of surgery at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. Other Johns Hopkins researchers who contributed to this research included Allan B. Massie, Ph.D.; Robert A. Montgomery, M.D., D.Phil.; and Dorry L. Segev, M.D., Ph.D.

Cameron shared, “This was the first effort like this designed to mobilize people for a public health cause.”

  • Johns Hopkins University researchers posted results in the American Journal of Transplantation.
  • Awareness and Communication
    Social media has huge potential as a public health tool

ARTICLE RESOURCES

The Facebook Effect: Social Media Dramatically Boosts Organ Donor Registration

Source: Johns Hopkins Medicine, June 18, 2013
Facebook study shows social media’s potential to increase organ donations: Read story.

Why Be an Organ Donor?

Source: Donate Life: New York Organ Donor Network
Organ donation is possible with the consent of the patient (through organ donor forms), or from the family of the patient. If you have not registered as an organ donor, it places the family in the position of making that decision. If you have not registered, consider the benefits: Save Lives (one organ donor can save up to eight lives); Improve Quality of Life (reduce or remove someone’s dependence on costly treatments to survive); and Comfort Grieving Families (helping to save or improve lives of others is often a solace to the donor’s family members). More info

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