We often think of social media as a way to connect with family, friends and colleagues, but fresh investigations show that social media can also facilitate us in helping others.
Bexley, Kent -- (SBWIRE) -- 09/10/2013 -- When Facebook created a way for users to share their organ donor status and added links to make it easy to sign up as an organ donor, the social media site saw a 21.2-fold increase in new online donor registrations in one day. Equally, When VideoDonor the YouTube alternative to Organ Donation Videos launched in July 2013 it received a warm welcome from people actively supporting organ donation both on Twitter and Facebook with an impression 3k following.
Johns Hopkins University researchers posted results in the American Journal of Transplantation that show the huge potential for social media as a public health tool.
“It’s the power of social networking as a source for public good,” said study leader Dr. Andrew Cameron, a transplant surgeon and Johns Hopkins University associate professor of surgery.
There definitely is a need for organ donors. According to statistics from the United Network for Organ Sharing, there are about 100,000 people on organ waiting lists, and 90,000 or more are waiting for kidneys alone. The Johns Hopkins University researchers said average daily organ donor registrations total 616 nationwide.
It is a great gift to sign up as an organ donor in the event of death, no doubt. But now the power of social network like VideoDonor and Facebook, can help increase the number of live organ donations, like giving a kidney to a friend or relative.
“In that area, both VideoDonor and Facebook will be a game changers,” said Dean Jones, founder of the VideoDonor Organ Donation Video Initiative.
Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network data from January to March of 2013 show there were 5,436 deceased-donor transplants, compared with 1,435 live-donor transplants.
Dean, said that VideoDonor is eager to work with the NHS to help streamline organ donation processes to make it easier to sign up, and that means creating ways to register on mobile devices. “
“We really just have to take advantage of this incredible tool (social media),” he said.
Cameron recently agreed there is a lot more to do to promote donations from both live donors and those at death, including the standardization of organ donation processes. He added that half of kidney transplants now are from live donors.
Cameron also recently said there should be mobile applications that make it easier for patients who need a transplant to reach out to people on social media and ask them to consider being live donors, and to search for other potential donors.
“The soon to be launched iPhone and iPad iOS Organ Donation Video App by VideoDonor will do just that” said Dean Jones in a recent interview.
The VideoDonor organ donation project began in June 2013 when Dean, began talking about organ shortages at a seminar that featured an appeal from a donor in need of a kidney transplant.