Organ Donation in the United States



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Introduction: The demand for donor organs far exceeds the number of donors. Approximately 18 people in the United States die every day waiting for an organ transplant. The purpose of this capstone is to describe the demographic characteristics of organ donors, recipients and waitlist populations in the United States. This information is essential to guide the planning and implementation of focused interventions to improve organ donation participation rates and diminish inequities.

Methods: We analyzed data from the Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network (OPTN) for the years Jan 1, 1988 – Aug 15, 2012. We describe characteristics of organ donors, transplant recipients and waiting list candidates by age, gender and race/ethnicity for the United States.

Results: The rate of organ donation has steadily increased in the United States, from a rate of 2.10 per 100,000 in 1988 to 5.16 per 100,000 in 2010 (R2=0.963). In 2010, 14,503 individuals donated organs (7,943 (54.7%) deceased donors and 6,560 (45.3%) living donors) and 28,662 individuals received one or more organs. There are differences in organ donation and transplantation by gender, age and race/ethnicity. As of August 2012, 114,719 individuals are on the waiting list for an organ transplant.

Conclusion: Increased awareness of the importance of organ donation and registering as an organ donor is needed among young adults and females. Males need to be encouraged to be living donors. Efforts to educate the Hispanic and Asian communities are needed to promote awareness and willingness to be an organ donor. ¬¬



Organ Donation, transplant