OneLegacy | Elena de la Cruz
Representing a 19% Increase Year-Over-Year
LOS ANGELES, Calif., Feb. 8, 2012 – OneLegacy, the non-profit, federally designated organ and tissue recovery organization serving the seven-county greater Los Angeles area, announced the recovery of more than 2,000 combined organ, tissue and cornea donors in 2011, helping to save and heal more than 65,000 lives in Southern California, the state and nationwide.
Last year, OneLegacy recovered organs from 417 deceased donors, a 19% increase from 349 organ donors in 2010. Through the generosity of donations authorized by individual registrations or the donors’ families, OneLegacy facilitated 1,262 organ transplants – more than any other organ recovery organization in the country. Only the results from 2006 showed more donors and lives saved in the region.
The dramatic increase in organs recovered for transplant can be attributed to a number of factors, according to Tom Mone, chief executive officer and executive vice president of OneLegacy.
“First, over the past year and a half, OneLegacy and area hospitals have collaborated to integrate donation into end-of-life care planning in order to ensure that every individual and family has the opportunity to donate. Second, since 2005, OneLegacy and our counterparts nationwide have collaborated to inspire hospitals, the media and our diverse communities to see donation as an opportunity to leave a living legacy by caring for those in our communities who are in desperate need of an organ transplant.”
In addition, for more than a decade, OneLegacy has partnered with area hospitals, transplant centers and coroners; state and local governmental leaders; and public figures including the late Steve Jobs to educate our communities, improve our processes, and make donation a value shared by all Californians.
“The opportunity for organ donation is quite rare, with only three in 1,000 deaths occurring under circumstances where organ donation is possible, so every potential donor can make a enormous difference,” said Mone.
Driving OneLegacy’s 2011 organ recovery activity was an all-time high authorization rate of 72 percent; that is, more than seven out of ten organ donation opportunities were authorized either by the individual’s donor designation (primarily through the California DMV) or family consent.
“The authorization rate increase of 22 percentage points since 2000 represents a remarkable shift in attitudes toward organ and tissue donation in our state,” said Mone. “This generosity is especially reflected by the marked increase in authorization rates among several ethnic groups.”
Authorizations among Hispanics increased from 65 percent in 2010 to 75 percent this year, while among Asians the jump was from 48 to 57 percent. Caucasians also saw an increase in consent rates from 78 to 84 percent, while African Americans experienced a slight decrease, down four percentage points to 58 percent, which nonetheless reflects the national average.
Notably, 25 percent of recovered organ donors and more than 35 percent of recovered tissue and eye donors were authorized by the Donate Life California Registry, which counts nearly 8.9 million registered donors statewide.
Tissue donation declined slightly from 2010, with 1,600 tissue and cornea donors in 2011, reflecting the decline in need for certain tissues due to the very successful increases in donation rates for bone, skin, and corneas in prior years. Patients nationwide can be thankful for tissue donors who provide skin used for abdominal repairs, burn dressings, bone to repair fractures and prevent amputation, heart valves to repair life-threatening defects, tendons to repair major knee injuries, veins for cardiac bypass surgery, and corneas to end blindness.
Last year, OneLegacy also celebrated its contribution to achieving the goal of registering 100 million Americans as organ, eye and tissue donors, meeting a goal set in 2006 by Donate Life America, the national alliance of organizations committed to increasing organ, eye and tissue donation. This year, OneLegacy is playing an instrumental role in the “20 Million in 2012” campaign to reach 125 million registered donors nationwide.
With more than 200 hospitals, 12 transplant centers and a diverse population of 19 million, OneLegacy is the largest organ and tissue recovery organization in the world. For more information, call OneLegacy at (800) 786-4077 or visit www.onelegacy.org.