OneLegacy, the nonprofit organ procurement organization dedicated to saving lives through organ, eye and tissue donation in the greater Los Angeles area, announced today a new national record of organs recovered and transplanted in 2016.
According to Chief Executive Officer Thomas Mone, the year just concluded saw a 9.2 percent increase in transplants over 2015 to a national record of 1,463 recovered from a OneLegacy all-time high of 481 organ donors (a 4.6 percent increase). The year also saw OneLegacy set a national record of 2,732 tissue donors and 1,535 cornea donors, increases over 2015 of 6.1 percent and 4.9 percent, respectively.
OneLegacy donation professionals collaborate with colleagues at more than 200 hospitals, 11 transplant centers, seven sheriff coroner departments, and hundreds of funeral homes while educating local communities to register and say “yes” to organ, eye and tissue donation. In addition to this outreach, OneLegacy and its transplant colleagues “continue to pioneer clinical innovations to successfully transplant more organs from these donors as part of our efforts to end deaths on the waitlists and give waiting recipients a second chance at life,” says Mone.
As a result of these and other year-round efforts, over the past 15 years OneLegacy has increased the number of organ donors by 75 percent, from fewer than 300 to nearly 500 donors per year. In addition, the actual life-saving donation rate of those who are medically eligible to donate (those who say “YES”) at the time of their deaths is now at 76 percent and steadily increasing. Mone expects this “remarkable sign of the community’s generosity” and this growth to continue, saving more lives in the process.
“Nationwide 22 people die each day while waiting for a life-saving organ donation, so our work remains vitally important as is our commitment to helping our community increase life-saving and healing donation,” Mone says. “A single organ donor can save the lives of up to eight people and improve the lives of as many as 100 people by donating their corneas and tissue. This is an important message for all Americans to hear and know that everyone can play a part in helping to save lives.”
In addition to the record-setting performance of OneLegacy, deceased organ donation in the U.S. is also likely to break another record in 2016, according to One Legacy Chief Operating Officer Prasad Garimella. “We can project that there will be more than 35,000 life-saving transplants performed in the U.S. in 2016, more than 6 percent higher than 2015 and a milestone that has never been reached before. Thousands of lives have forever been changed through organ donation, and setting this new milestone has been enabled in part thanks to our education and awareness efforts and partnerships in Southern California.”
Mone credits the increase in organ donation to a number of factors ranging from OneLegacy’s best practices and innovative electronic donor record system (digitalDONOR) to the organization’s significant investment in a highly skilled team of 350 donation professionals “who bring compassion and dedication to the mission of OneLegacy. Most significant is the increased support of families making generous decisions to donate life and the community at large choosing to register as a donor at the local DMV or online through www.donatelifecalifornia.org,” he says.
Currently more than 119,000 Americans are waiting to receive a life-saving heart, liver, lung, kidney and/or pancreas; but there are simply not enough donors to meet the growing demand, thus making the work of OneLegacy more important than ever.
OneLegacy is the nonprofit organization dedicated to saving lives through organ, eye and tissue donation in seven counties in Southern California: Los Angeles, Orange County, Riverside, San Bernardino, Ventura, Santa Barbara and Kern. Serving more than 200 hospitals, 11 transplant centers and a diverse population of nearly 20 million, OneLegacy is the largest organ, eye and tissue recovery organization in the world. For more information, call OneLegacy at 800-786-4077 or visit onelegacy.org
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