Organ Transplants Up Slightly, Hospitals Urged to Do More

Health Leaders Media

A transplant surgeon says the lack of organs is "a national health crisis." Registering donors is "part of our responsibility as caregivers," says an executive of a state hospital association that has developed a registry program.

Howard Nathan

After years of stagnation, organ donations are up and organizations that collect organs for transplantation and the hospitals they work with say their partnerships have been the key to getting the numbers up.

The number of organs from deceased donors went up 5.6% in 2015 and 4% 2014. The number of transplants, also virtually flat for the past decade, rose by 4.9% in 2015. That translates more than 30,000 transplants in 2015—a record, but still far short of the need.

The number of patients eligible for a donor organ stands at 120,000.

The most important factor in the success of an OPO—organ procurement organization—is its relationship with hospitals, says Howard Nathan, president of the Philadelphia-based, nonprofit Gift of Life Donor Program. By partnering with hospitals and training staff, OPAs aim to get involved in each case as early in the process as possible. Continue reading