Statement of Principles
Documents & articles
List of Endorsers
How to Help
About the author
Facts and Statistics of Organ Transplantation
[Taken from the CORE (Center for Organ Recovery and
Education) website, 3/3/01]
- Nationally, more than 73,000 people are awaiting an organ transplant;
approximately 16 will die each day without receiving one,
including two within the CORE service area.
- At the six CORE-affiliated organ transplant hospitals, approximately 1,600 people are
awaiting organ transplantation, while thousands more await tissue or corneal transplants.
- Between 10,000 and 12,000 people die annually who are considered medically-suitable for
organ donation, yet only an estimated 5,200 donate.
- One organ, tissue and eye donor may help between 200 and 400 people.
- Major organized religions support donation, considering it a
- More than 46,000 people await a kidney transplant. Following
kidneys, livers, hearts, and lungs are the organs in greatest demand for transplantation.
Here are some general facts, as well as some statistics
from California, taken from a January 23, 2000 article in the San
Diego Union-Tribune, by Caitlin Rother, entitled "Of Death and
- The first kidney transplant was performed in 1954.
- Organs may be donated only if a person is declared brain dead,
which means that all brain function has stopped and the heart continues to beat, though
mechanical support must be used to keep blood flowing to the organs. Organs such as
the heart, lungs, liver, kidneys, small bowel and pancreas may then be donated.
- Brain death may be caused by a
severe head injury, a fall, a blow to the brain, or a gunshot wound to the head. It
also can be caused by a stroke or aneurysm, which results in massive bleeding or swelling
in the brain. Other causes include brain tumors, which cut off blood flow, or other
injuries that cut off oxygen to the brain such as drowning, heart attack or carbon
- Patients whose hearts stop beating can donate only tissues,
which include eyes, corneas, joints, tendons, ligaments, heart valves, skin and
bone. The number of potential tissue donors outweighs the number of potential organ
donors by 10 to 1.
- 1,500 people die of brain death each year in California, but
only 500 become organ donors. About 7,000 Californians are waiting for an organ
transplant, and one-third of these people will die for lack of a donor.
Experts characterize this as a statewide health crisis.
- Nationwide, more than 60,000 men, women and children are waiting for organs. That waiting
list is growing three times faster than the rate of organ donation. Of
those 60,000 patients, 1,200 are listed in San Diego.
- Kidneys are in the highest demand, comprising nearly two-thirds
of the waiting list.
If you're interested in additional statistics, here are some web pages to check out: