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Facebook feature leads to rise in organ-donor registrations

A new feature on Facebook has led to a surge of organ-donor registrations in Washington.

The feature lets users signify their status as organ donors on their Facebook timeline and provides a link to their local registry organization. 

From Jan. 1 to April 30, about five Washington residents a day registered as organ donors via LifeCenter Northwest’s online system.

On May 1, the day Facebook launched its donor-registration feature, that number spiked to 185.

LifeCenter Northwest is a federally designated organization that manages organ-donor registration for Washington.

The numbers stayed high for a few days before dropping close to those previous levels, said Megan Jones, a vice president at the organization. The surge reflected a rise in donations around the nation after Facebook launched its new timeline option.

While most residents support organ donation, Jones said, it takes something as convenient as Facebook for some to register.

“People don’t think about it unless it’s right in front of them,” she said.