It saw an 18% increase in cornea donation.
(Press Release) LOS ANGELES — OneLegacy, the Los Angeles-based nonprofit organ procurement organization dedicated to saving lives through organ, eye and tissue donation, announced a record number of organ donors in 2017, surpassing the previous mark set a year earlier. OneLegacy also announced an 18 percent increase in cornea donation to its eye bank, the largest such bank in Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside and San Bernardino counties.
Thanks to the generous acts of people committed to making a positive difference in the lives of others, OneLegacy reported 487 organ donors and 2,642 tissue and eye donors in 2017, resulting in 1,374 lifesaving organ transplants and up to 200,000 lives healed through tissue and cornea transplantation. It also saw 1,249 corneas processed and distributed by OneLegacy, as compared to 1,054 in 2016.
OneLegacy’s record-setting year is part of a national trend toward increased organ donor registration at the Department of Motor Vehicles, with California’s donor registry holding more than 14 million registrants and the national registry now at more than 130 million. According to preliminary data from United Network for Organ Sharing, for 2017 the number of deceased organ donors in the United States topped 10,000 for the first time, representing a 3.1 percent increase over 2016 and an increase of 27 percent since 2007. Approximately 82 percent of the transplants performed nationwide in 2017 involved organs from deceased donors.
Currently more than 115,000 Americans are waiting to receive a lifesaving heart, liver, lung, kidney and/or pancreas. Nationwide 22 people die each day while waiting for this second chance at life. OneLegacy is working hard to lessen these numbers through collaboration with more than 200 hospitals, 11 transplant centers, seven sheriff coroner departments and hundreds of funeral homes to educate communities in seven Southern California counties to register and say “yes” to organ, eye and tissue donation.
“OneLegacy is working hand in hand with transplant colleagues in continuing to pioneer clinical innovations that allow us to successfully transplant more organs from generous donors as part of our efforts to end deaths and give waiting recipients a second chance at life,” said OneLegacy CEO Tom Mone. As a result of its year-round efforts, over the past 15 years OneLegacy has seen a 75 percent increase in the number of organ donors with Mone expecting this “remarkable sign of the community’s generosity to continue to grow, saving more lives in the process.”
Nationwide a record 34,772 organ transplants were performed in 2017 using organs from both deceased and living donors. This total is a 3.4 percent increase over 2016 and marks the fifth consecutive record-setting year for transplants in the United States. The record number of donor organs were recovered, and transplants occurred, for each of the four most common organs transplanted – kidney, liver, heart and lung.
“While people often associate organ donation with death and loss, donor families tell us that for them donation helps give greater meaning and fulfill the life of their loved one while keeping their memory alive; so it is really about life,” said Mone. “The fact that nearly three-fourths of those who medically can be donors are actually donating here in Southern California tells us that our message is getting through. But we know that we still have a lot of work left to do in spreading this message of hope.”
Individuals can learn more about organ donation and can register to be a donor at their local DMV or online through www.donatelifecalifornia.org/onelegacy.
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