Donor FAQs and Statistics
The Organ Donor Patient Statistics (OPTN statistics as of 2/13/15)
- Patients waiting for transplant = 123,208 nationwide/3,138 in NC
- Nationwide – On average 21 patients die each day, or 7,665 per year, waiting on a transplant
- One person can save 8 lives, and on the average, a donor saves 3 lives and improves the lives of over 50 others
- Nationwide, every 10 minutes, a person is added to the donor list
- Patients waiting on a kidney = 101,603 nationwide/3,138 in NC
- Patients waiting on a liver = 15,379 nationwide/235 in NC
- Patients waiting on a heart = 3,986 nationwide/123 in NC
- At the current trend, in 5 years, the patient list will approximate 277,000, or a 124% increase.
Organ Transplantation and Donation Facts at a Glance (UNOS)
- People of all ages and medical histories should consider themselves potential donors. Your medical condition at the time of death will determine what organs and tissue can be donated. The doctor makes the final decision whether a donor candidate can donate.
- Organs and tissues that can be donated include: hearts, kidneys, lungs, pancreas, livers, intestines, corneas, skin, tendons, bones, and heart valves. One donor can save as many as 8 lives. The average is 3 lives saved per donor. And 50+ other people benefit from tissue, corneas, ligaments, bones, valves, etc.
- There is no national registry of organ donors. However, the State of North Carolina does have a donor registry and if you have a "heart" on your driver's license, you can be a donor by law. Even if you have indicated your wishes on your drivers' license, be sure you have told your family as they will be consulted before donation can take place.
- The doctors trying to save a person's life have nothing to do with organ recovery as it is the responsibility of the regional organ procurement organization who is called upon by the doctor when all "state of the practice" measures have been taken to save a life.
- All major religions approve of organ and tissue donation and consider donation the greatest gift.
- There is no charge to the donor for a donation/transplant.
- An open-casket funeral is possible for organ and tissue donors.