Significant increase in transplants in 2017 helps fuel national record


Surgeons at the University of Alabama at Birmingham performed 462 total transplants in 2017 — up from 398 in 2016 (a 16.1 percent increase) — helping to fuel a national record of more than 10,000 deceased-donor transplants performed for the first time in a calendar year in the United States.
Deceased organ donor transplants at UAB rose from 330 in 2016 to 366 in 2017 — a 10.9 percent increase. Living kidney donors who donated through UAB’s Division of Transplantation also were up significantly, from 68 in 2016 to 96 in 2017 — a 41.2 percent increase.

As UAB embarks on its 50th year of transplantation in 2018, a number of different things are to credit for the dramatic increase, says Devin Eckhoff, M.D., director of Transplantation, part of UAB’s School of Medicine and Department of Surgery. One of the biggest factors, he says, is the generosity of those who make the choice to give life to others.

“When you have the privilege of helping someone return to good health, and you know that privilege is given to you because another human being made a conscious decision to give of themselves — whether it is upon death or as a living donor — it’s just an incredible honor for each of us as surgeons to help facilitate that generosity,” Eckhoff said. “We see the impact those decisions make and the joy these gifts give to families. Donors are true heroes.” Continue reading

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