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Hospital announces challenge to be part of <span class = "text-uppercase">Guinness World Records</span>® for organ donor registration

4/2/2012 — In celebration of National Donate Life month and to raise awareness about organ donation, Yale New Haven Hospital will host an event to be part of Guinness World Records® for the most people to sign up as organ donors in eight hours. The organ donation registration event, "Don't Wait! Donate," will take place on Monday, April 23 from 8 a.m. —  4 p.m.

The donor registration event will be supervised by a Guinness World Records® judge as YNHH attempts to beat the previous world record, which was 765 registered donors during an event organized by The Quest for the Gift of Life Foundation at the Springville City Arts Park in Springville, Utah, on August 28, 2010.

Adults interested in signing up at the "Don't Wait! Donate" event should be at least 18 years old and Connecticut residents who are not currently registered organ donors, or residents of another state or country.

YNHH will have two registration sites on its campus where people can learn about the importance of organ donation and sign up as an organ donor. The locations include the YNHH Atrium lobby at 20 York Street and the Hunter Courtyard at the corner of York and Cedar streets. Event attendees will also have the opportunity to visit the onsite photo booth and post their picture to Facebook and encourage others to come and sign up that day.

"The urgent need for registered organ donors has never been greater, as the current and growing demand exceeds the supply to help saves lives," said Sukru Emre, MD, director, Yale New Haven Transplantation Center. "We hope this event will spotlight the critical need for more registered organ donors and be part of Guinness World Records® with a record-breaking number of people signing up that day."

There are more than 110,000 men, women and children in the United States waiting for a life-saving transplant. More than 3,400 of these individuals live in the New England region. Every 12 minutes another name is added to the national waiting list and each day 18 people die while waiting for a transplant. According to United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS), there were 28,535 organ transplants in 2011 but only 14,145 donors - meaning that individual donors often saved multiple lives. In Connecticut, only 35 percent of licensed drivers are registered as organ and tissue donors.

Yale New Haven Hospital (YNHH), part of Yale New Haven Health, is a nationally recognized, 1,541-bed, not-for-profit hospital serving as the primary teaching hospital for the Yale School of Medicine (YSM). Founded as the fourth voluntary hospital in the U.S. in 1826, today, YNHH has two New Haven-based campuses, and also includes Yale New Haven Children's Hospital, Yale New Haven Psychiatric Hospital and Smilow Cancer Hospital. YNHH has received Magnet designation from the American Nurses Credentialing Center, the nation’s highest honor of nursing excellence. YNHH has a combined medical staff of about 4,500 university and community physicians practicing in more than 100 specialties.