2015 was record year for transplant numbers in the US

Data from the United Network for Organ Sharing shows a 4.9 percent increase in U.S. transplants from 2014 and 2015, representing 30, 973 transplants over 29,533 the previous year. 2015 also marked the first year ever more than 30,000 transplants were performed.

"This landmark achievement is a testament to the generosity of the American public to help others through donation, and their trust in the transplant system to honor their life-saving gift," UNOS president Betsy Walsh, JD, said in a news release.

Additional trends in organ donation and transplant include:

  • Several months in 2015 marked all-time monthly records for deceased organ donation. July 2015 was the highest-ever monthly total, with 848 donors reported.
  • The proportion of African-American and Hispanic deceased donors increased from 2014 to 2015. In 2015, 16.3 percent of deceased donors were African-American and 13.6 percent were Hispanic. Caucasian donors in 2015 (5,973) increased numerically over 2014, but decreased as a proportion of all donors from 66.5 percent in 2014 to 65.8 percent in 2015.
  • The number and proportion of African-American and Hispanic transplant recipients increased substantially. In 2015, 6,753 (21.8 percent) of transplant recipients were African-American and 4,804 (15.5 percent) were Hispanic. African-American and Hispanic candidates account for a significant proportion of the national waiting list for kidney transplants, which is the most commonly needed organ type. The number (17,184) and proportion (55.5 percent) of Caucasian transplant recipients decreased slightly in 2015 when compared to the previous year.
  • Transplants continue to increase from donors upon cardiovascular death (DCD) as opposed to brain death. In 2015, 2,746 transplants were performed involving organs from DCD donors, accounting for 8.9 percent of all transplants.
  • While the 5,986 living donor transplants in 2015 remain below all-time records, they represent an increase of nearly 2.9 percent over 2014. The proportion of living donors older than 50 increased slightly, with a slight decline in the proportion of living donors between the ages of 18 and 34.

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