Facebook Boosts Organ Donor Signups

The plight of a 10-year-old Pennsylvania girl who got a high-profile lung transplant last week underscored the scarcity of U.S. organ donations, but a new study of a “Facebook bump” in registrations shows that social media may be key to solving the problem.

More than 100,000 people in the U.S. took advantage of a Facebook change last year to allow certain members to identify themselves as organ donors — including some 33,000 who signed up with their state registries to be donors for the first time.

On May 1, 2012, 13,012 people in 44 states signed up to donate organs, far higher than the 616 who sign up on a typical day, according to transplant experts at Johns Hopkins University, who collaborated with Donate Life America and the Living Legacy Foundation Baltimore.

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