The transplant system in America saw record numbers of organ donations and transplants in 2015, while the number of living donors and minority donors also increased. The record-setting total was expected after some of the nation’s organ procurement organizations reported successful periods.
The number of deceased donors increased significantly to 9,078 from 8,596 in 2014, while previously the number hovered around 8,000 annually between 2006 and 2013.
Kevin Myer, president and CEO of Texas-based LifeGift, whose transplants totaled 1,044, up from 1,024 in 2014, said:
“We want to be part of that, and we’re doing everything we can to get better.”
The number of black deceased donors went up to 1,477 from 1,338 in 2014; Hispanic deceased donors totaled 1,233 up from 1,146 and the number of Asian deceased donors totaled 232, from 212 in 2014. Increasing donation among minorities has long been a challenge.
The number of living donors totaled 5,894, up from 5,819 in 2014. These donors most often provide kidneys.
Number of transplants went up from 29,533 in 2014 to 30,973 last year.
Most donations occur after brain death. Kevin O'Connor, president and CEO of State of Washington-based LifeCenter Northwest, credited his organization’s gains to a less common practice of recovering organs, known as donation after cardiovascular death.