Facebook Driving Interest in Organ Donations

Posted May 2nd, 2012 at 12:50 pm (UTC-5)
Leave a comment

A new feature on the popular online social network Facebook appears to be driving a sharp increase in the number of would-be organ donors.

The organ donation group Donate Life America says more than 100,000 people had used the feature by late Tuesday .

The group's California branch reported donor sign-up jumped 800 percent Tuesday , while traffic to the group's online registry for the southern state of North Carolina surged 3,000 percent.

The feature – introduced Tuesday – allows members in the United States and Britain to officially register as organ donors and declare their status on their Facebook pages.

Facebook co-founder and chief executive Mark Zuckerberg said the social media giant says it hopes the new service will help save lives.

Facebook has about 900-million users worldwide. The New York Times newspaper reports Facebook plans to add the organ-donor declaration service to its networks in several other countries later this year.

Millions of people around the world with life-threatening medical conditions are waiting for donated organs, including nearly 115,000 in the United States.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services says, on average, 18 people in the U.S. die each day waiting for an organ donation, while another 79 receive transplants.