Hundreds of donor organs lost, delayed in transit since 2014

Nearly 200 viable organ donations have been wasted due to commercial transit delays since 2014, according to a report from Kaiser Health News and Reveal from the Center for Investigative Reporting.

For the report, KHN and Reveal analyzed data on more than 8,800 organ and tissue shipments from the United Network for Organ Sharing between 2014 and 2019.

Four takeaways:

1. About 170 organs could not be used due to transportation issues during this period. Another 370 organs had delays of two hours or more, which UNOS qualifies as "near misses."

2. Many of these delays involved kidneys, which have a longer shelf life than other organs — like hearts — and are, therefore, transported commercially.

3. The U.S. lacks a comprehensive system to transport organs via commercial means, which may contribute to these delays, the report noted. In addition, no requirements exist to track organ shipments in real time.

4. The delays are concerning, KHN noted, considering nearly 113,000 Americans are currently waiting for an organ transplant nationwide.

To view the full report, click here.

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