A record 463 people received lifesaving organ transplants in 2013 thanks to 148 selfless donors in Colorado and Wyoming, according to Donor Alliance, the federally-designated, non-profit organ procurement organization and American Association of Tissue Banks (AATB) accredited tissue bank serving the two-state region. Additionally, a record 1,177 tissue donors provided lifesaving and healing tissue, providing bone and skin grafts that will impact thousands of more lives. These milestones are a result of the high percentage of Colorado and Wyoming residents who have chosen to give the gift of life by registering as organ, eye and tissue donors.
Through the generous gifts of donors and their families, Donor Alliance facilitated 148 organ recoveries in 2013, resulting in 463 people in Colorado and throughout the country being removed from the transplant waiting list. The year yielded more transplants than ever before by 3.8%, exceeding the previous high set in 2011, and a 26% increase since 2009.
Similarly, the organization worked with more tissue donors than ever, representing a 32% increase since 2009. These generous individuals and their families gave the gift of lifesaving and healing tissues such as skin, bone and heart valves, which will help as many as 100,000 people to regain mobility and have active lives after disease or trauma.
“We are incredibly proud and grateful to have facilitated a record number of organ and tissue transplants in 2013, helping to save and enhance the lives of more patients than ever before,” said Sue Dunn, president and CEO of Donor Alliance. “We never forget that our work is made possible by the selfless donors and their courageous families who make the powerful decision to give the gift of life.”
The Donate Life Colorado Organ and Tissue Donor Registry experienced the highest donor designation rate since the registry’s establishment in 2001. (This is the rate at which individuals join the state donor registry as a percentage of licensed drivers and ID card holders.) At the close of 2013, 67.3 percent of Colorado’s licensed drivers and ID card holders had joined the registry. Similarly, Wyoming’s registry improved to a 59.4 percent donor designation rate from 55 percent at the end of 2009. Both states continue to hold two of the highest donor designation rates in the nation.
Donor Alliance’s authorization rates also remained among the highest in the country this year at 92% percent. The authorization rates track the number of families saying ‘yes’ to donation of their loved one’s organ and tissues when approached by Donor Alliance staff.
|Local Organ Donors||115||130||134||126||148|
|Small Intestine Transplant||3||1||0||1||1|
|Total Local Organs Transplanted (Lives Saved)||368||394||446||390||463|
|Local Tissue Donors||894||1,024||966||1017||1,177|
|Heart Valve Donors||92||102||101||105||111|
|Joint Restoration Donors||110||87||93||83||106|
Source: Donor Alliance data
Despite the generosity of donor family members and the efforts of Donor Alliance staff and partner organizations, just over 2,400 people in the area continue to wait for a lifesaving transplant.
Join the 67 percent of Coloradans and 59 percent of Wyoming citizens who have registered to be organ and tissue donors. For more information about organ and tissue donation, please visit DonorAlliance.org. To register to be an organ and tissue donor, please visit DonateLifeColorado.org, DonateLifeWyoming.org or call 303-329-4747 or 1-888-256-4386 for more information.