Facebook Can Change The World: It Can Increase Organ Donors

Facebook Can Change The World: It Can Increase Organ Donors

Studies show that Facebook gives a 21-fold boost to the number of people who registered themselves as organ donors in a single day.

Open Lines of Communication

facebookFacebook started its organ donor project after Dr Andrew M. Cameron, who is a transplant surgeon, and his Harvard roommate Sheryl Sandberg, who is the current Facebook chief operating officer, began talking at their 20th college reunion in 2011 about the lack of organ donations. Mark Zuckerberg said he was inspired to include the option after talking with Apple co-founder Steve Jobs, who received a liver transplant, and his wife Priscilla Chan, who was a medical student at the time of the feature’s launch. The option to include your donor status is available for accounts in the U.S. and U.K.

Let’s Talk Numbers

The number of people who have registered as organ donors has more than doubled since 1989, but the number of people who need organ donations has increased more than six times in the same period, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.Currently, there are 118,489 people waiting for an organ. Eighteen people die each day waiting for their transplant, and one donor can save up to eight lives.

The short-term response was incredibly dramatic, unlike anything we had ever seen before in campaigns to increase the organ donation rate. And at the end of two weeks, the number of new organ donors was still climbing at twice the normal rate.