US sees record number of organ transplants in 2021

In 2021, a record-setting number of organ transplants were performed in the U.S., with more than 40,000 transplants performed annually for the first time in the nation's history, according to preliminary data from the United Network for Organ Sharing

Six things to know:

1. The U.S. performed 41,354 organ transplants, up 5.9 percent from 2020. 

2. The three most commonly transplanted organs — kidney, liver and heart — all set annual volume records. The U.S. performed 24,669 kidney transplants, 9,236 liver transplants and 3,817 heart transplants in 2021.

3. In 2021, 13,861 Americans became deceased organ donors — the eleventh consecutive record year for deceased donation.

4. For the third year in a row, the most common age range of deceased donors was 50-64, with 4,270 donors, up 14.6 percent from 2020.

5. Living donor transplants, which decreased significantly in 2020 amid the pandemic, increased in 2021, but are still at lower totals than prior years. Overall, 6,541 living donor transplants were performed in 2021, a 14.2 percent increase from 2020.

6. Donation from individuals who died of cardiorespiratory failure continued to substantially increase.


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