Saving Lives and Giving Hope by Reducing the Organ Waiting List

The White House

There are currently more than 120,000 people on the waiting list for an organ in the United States. Every 10 minutes, someone is added to the national waiting list for a life-saving organ transplant. This is despite advances in clinical science and medical innovation over the last decade and widespread recognition by Americans that organ donation and transplantation make a real difference in people’s lives. Twenty-two people die every day in the United States while waiting for a life-saving transplant.

We must and can do more.

The good news is that reducing the organ waiting list is a problem that can be solved – and that’s why today, the Obama Administration and dozens of companies, foundations, universities, hospitals, and patient advocacy organizations are taking steps to change that by announcing a new set of actions that will build on the Administration’s efforts to improve outcomes for individuals waiting for organ transplants and support for living donors.

The actions being announced today aim to:
Close the gap between the 95 percent of Americans who support organ donation and the roughly 50 perecent who are registered
Invest in clinical research and innovation that could potentially increase the number of transplants by almost 2,000 each year and improve outcomes for patients
Facilitate breakthrough research and development with almost $200 million in investments.
"America’s progress in science and technology has countless revolutionary discoveries within our reach... New breakthroughs in treating cancer and ending the wait for organ transplants… That’s some of what America can do. President Obama, May 19, 2016"
 Commitments to Reduce the Organ Waiting List

The Federal government along with dozens of companies, foundations, universities, hospitals, and patient advocacy organizations are stepping up to solve the problem of reducing the organ waiting list. Below are just a few of those commitments -- see the full list here. 

Facilitating breakthrough research and development with almost $200 million in investments

Just a few generations ago, living without kidneys was unimaginable. But that diagnosis changed thanks to Dr. Willem Kolff, a Dutch immigrant who brought his invention of the dialysis machine to the United States after World War II. New breakthroughs in bioengineering, transplantation, and organ preservation can further increase the number of organ transplants and improve outcomes. Researchers have the potential to repair or replace tissues and organs, reduce waitlists for organ transplants, and potentially reduce health care cost for treatments – but we must continue to invest in breakthrough research and development. For example, consider that most organs can only be stored for three to twelve hours, which means that many viable transplant organs are discarded. If even half of all unused donated hearts and lungs could reach transplant patients in time, experts estimate that the waiting list for hearts and lungs could end in two to three years. Announcements include, among others:  Continue reading
You have the power to SAVE Lives
We are asking you to register as an organ, eye and tissue donor today.
In California:
Donate LIFE California | Done VIDA California
Organ Donor | Donate Life America
To ensure donation happens, please share your decision with your family. At stake is the legacy you wish to leave.