- The number of organ transplants in the U.S. surpassed 30,000 last year and donations exceeded 9,000, both all-time highs, according to the United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS).
- The nation’s transplant system also saw record-setting numbers of minority donors and organs from living donors, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported.
- More than 121,000 people are currently waiting for a transplant, fueling the press for better matching capabilities and retrieval of organs after cardiovascular death, rather than waiting for a person to be declared brain dead.
During 2015, donations by deceased African-Americans and Hispanics grew by 16.3% and 13.6%, respectively, compared with the previous year. Caucasian donations also increased, but declined as a proportion of all donors, UNOS said.
Transplants from donors following cardiovascular death (DCD) totaled 2,746, accounting for 8.9% of all transplants in 2015. Living donor transplants increased 2.9% over 2014, but failed to match earlier records.
Success was due to various strategies, according to the Post-Gazette. For example, the Center for Organ Recovery & Education attributed its gains to better community outreach and collaboration with hospitals, while Bellevue, WA-based LifeCenter Northwest pursued more DCD donations.
More than 121,000 people in the U.S. are currently waiting for a transplant, according to UNOS. “As the nation’s transplant network, we will continue to seek improvements to the matching system to ensure that more organs are accepted and used with the best possible outcomes for recipients,” UNOS CEO Brian Shepard said in a statement.