The Stanly News and Press (Albemarle, NC)

Community News Network

June 18, 2013

Facebook's organ donor status sends registrations soaring

SAN FRANCISCO — Facebook's addition of a way for its users to tell people their organ-donor status helped boost the number of people who registered as donors 21-fold in one day.

Two weeks after the social networking website set up the profile information on May 1, 2012, the rate of new organ donors was still climbing twice as fast as before, according to a paper published Tuesday in the American Journal of Transplantation.

Organ donation has long been an interest of Sheryl Sandberg, chief operating officer at Menlo Park, Calif.- based Facebook. Demand for organs far outpaces the number of donors, with more than 118,000 Americans waiting for a life- saving transplant, according to the Department of Health & Human Services. An average 18 people die daily waiting for an organ.

"There's a real emotional reward for doing the right thing and telling people about it, and that leads to the best kind of peer pressure," said Andrew Cameron, a study author, and the surgical director of the liver transplant program at Johns Hopkins Medicine, in a telephone interview. "You hope it's contagious."

The study compared the number of Facebook organ donor profile updates from May 1, 2012, to May 28, 2012, with the organ donor registration data for 43 states and the District of Columbia. Data was unavailable for Alaska, Delaware, North Dakota, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, South Dakota and West Virginia.

The first day the field was available, almost 60,000 users updated their organ donor profile. On the first day of the initiative, there were 13,000 new online organ donor registrations, a 21-fold increase over the baseline registration rate of 616 people a day. There were a total of almost 40,000 new organ donors registered over the course of the first 13 days, or almost 33,000 more people registering than usual. The number of new updates per day decreased to 538 on May 13.

Text Only
Community News Network
  • Why do wolves howl?

    Of all the myths that dog the wolf, none is more widely accepted than the idea that wolves howl at the moon. Images of wolves with their heads upturned, singing at the night sky, are as unquestioned as a goldfish's three-second memory or a dog's color-blindness (both also myths).

    April 18, 2014

  • Biggest student loan profits come from grad students

    This week, the Congressional Budget Office projected that the federal government would earn roughly $127 billion from student lending during the next 10 years.

    April 18, 2014

  • quake.jpg Pennsylvania won’t take action following Ohio ruling on quakes, fracking

    Pennsylvania officials plan no action despite new Ohio rules on drilling that affect a seismically active area near the state line.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • Raw oysters spike U.S. rise in bacterial infections, CDC reports

    Raw oysters, so good with hot sauce, increasingly can carry something even more unsettling to the stomach: A bacteria linked to vomiting, diarrhea and pain.

    April 17, 2014

  • To sleep well, you may need to adjust what you eat and when

    Sleep.  Oh, to sleep.  A good night's sleep is often a struggle for more than half of American adults.  And for occasional insomnia, there are good reasons to avoid using medications, whether over-the-counter or prescription.

    April 16, 2014

  • Doctors to rate cost effectiveness of expensive cancer drugs

    The world's largest organization of cancer doctors plans to rate the cost effectiveness of expensive oncology drugs, and will urge physicians to use the ratings to discuss the costs with their patients.

    April 16, 2014

  • Allergies are the real midlife crisis

    One of the biggest mysteries is why the disease comes and goes, and then comes and goes again. People tend to experience intense allergies between the ages of 5 and 16, then get a couple of decades off before the symptoms return in the 30s, only to diminish around retirement age.

    April 15, 2014

  • treadmill-very-fast.jpg Tax deduction for a gym membership?

    April marks another tax season when millions of Americans will deduct expenses related to home ownership, children and education from their annual tax bill. These deductions exist because of their perceived value to society; they encourage behaviors that keep the wheels of the economy turning. So why shouldn't the tax code be revised to reward preventive health?

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • Google acquires drone maker Titan Aerospace to spread Internet

    Google is adding drones to its fleets of robots and driverless cars.
    The Internet search company said it acquired Titan Aerospace, the maker of high-altitude, solar-powered satellites that provides customer access to data services around the world. Terms of the deal weren't disclosed.

    April 14, 2014

  • 25801486.jpg VIDEO: Northern California bus crash kills 10

    At least nine people died in Northern California on Thursday night, in an accident involving a bus, a car and FedEx truck. The bus was filled with high school students from Southern California who were on their way to visit a college campus.

    April 11, 2014 1 Photo

Graduation Salutes
Seasonal Content