PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) – People are encouraged to register as an organ, eye, or tissue donor, as April is National Donate Life Month, and due to COVID-19, many transplant center have had to suspend all living donor transplants.

Donate Life Northwest says it would typically be working to spread awareness about donations during the month of April but cannot right now due to the virus.

The organization says it is seeing a huge decline in the number of people registering to become an organ donor, as the DMV is closed for most services.

Oregon nonprofit calls for more organ donors during COVID-19 pandemic

KPTV file image.

99-percent of the organization’s registration normally comes from the DMV, the nonprofit says.

Joe Lockridge, a nephrologist, or kidney doctor, says Oregon has typically done very well in terms of donation sign up rates, but more can always be done.

“There's living donation and then there are deceased donors as well, and those operations have decreased substantially in the coronavirus era because of safety concerns for donors recipients ICU and surgical staff, hospital staff, just in order to mitigate the spread of infection,” Lockridge said.

Lockridge is also the medical director at the Portland VA Medical Center.

To learn more or sign up, visit Donate Life Northwest’s website.

Copyright 2020 KPTV-KPDX Broadcasting Corporation. All rights reserved.

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