The United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS) has released the numbers and they show that a total of 39,034 organ transplants were performed in the United States in 2020.
That total, which isn’t broken down, represents transplants from living and deceased donors, and it’s the second-highest on record, behind only the record 39,719 performed in 2019.
The decrease is due to a falling off in transplant surgery involving live donors that is directly attributable to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, there is good news in that the pace of living donor transplantation has picked up since June.
From a UNOS news release: “Many transplant programs temporarily deferred living donor transplantation in areas particularly affected by outbreaks of the virus due to concerns of unnecessarily exposing potential living donors and living donor recipients to possible COVID-19 infection. A total of 5,725 living donor transplants were performed in 2020, a decrease of 22.6 percent over the record of 7,397 set in 2019. Living donor transplants since June of 2020 have occurred at rates more similar to pre-pandemic activity.”
In the U.S., organ donation from deceased donors rose for a 10th straight year, with 12,587 people providing one or more organs, up six per cent from 2019, according to UNOS.
From that UNOS news release: “A record 36,548 organs from deceased donors were transplanted, either individually or in multi-organ combinations. This resulted in 33,309 people receiving life-saving transplants from deceased donors in 2020 — setting another annual record for the eighth consecutive year. This occurred despite significant adverse effects from the COVID-19 pandemic, where deceased donor transplantation briefly fell by approximately 50 percent in early April before returning to a more consistent baseline in late May.”
That news release is right here.
The Trillium Gift of Life Network, which monitors organ donation and transplants in Ontario, shows that there were 1,415 transplants conducted there in what it refers to as the 2019-20 fiscal year.
Those transplants involved 529 kidneys from deceased donors, 227 kidneys from living donors, 228 livers from deceased donors, 70 livers from living donors, 97 hearts and 208 lungs.
Trillium also reports “more than 176,000” new donor registrations, meaning there now are 4,3 million registered donors in Ontario. That was an increase of 35 per cent for 2018-19. Interestingly, 51 per cent of the deceased donors were registered.
If you are interested in being a living kidney donor, more information is available here:
Living Kidney Donor Program
St. Paul’s Hospital
6A Providence Building
1081 Burrard Street
Vancouver, BC V6Z 1Y6
Toll free: 1-877-922-9822
Vancouver General Hospital Living Donor Program – Kidney
Gordon and Leslie Diamond Health Care Centre
Level 5, 2775 Laurel Street
Vancouver, BC V5Z 1M9
604-875-5182 or 1-855-875-5182
Or, for more information, visit right here.
What takes 2 minutes? Brushing your teeth. Picking a Netflix movie. Registering as an organ donor. #TakeTwoMinutes and register now. Taketwominutes.ca #Register2Give