Nearly 400 Lives Saved Through Organ Donation & Transplantation in 2012

February 5, 2013


Local organ procurement organization announces 100,000 lives healed through tissue donation

Donor Alliance, the federally-designated, non-profit organ procurement organization and American Association of Tissue Banks (AATB) accredited tissue bank serving Colorado and Wyoming, recorded another impactful year in 2012, helping save the lives of nearly 400 people through organ donation and transplantation. In addition, the organization worked with over one thousand tissue donors and their families to recover lifesaving and healing tissue that will provide bone and skin grafts to thousands of recipients locally and across the country.

In Colorado and Wyoming, 390 people were removed from the transplant waiting list in 2012 due to the 126 organ recoveries facilitated by Donor Alliance. That means on average, each organ donor was able to save the lives of three others.

The organization worked with 1,017 tissue donors and their families who gave the gift of lifesaving and healing tissues such as skin, bone and heart valves in 2012. With each tissue donor able to touch over 100 lives, over 100,000 people will be able to regain mobility and have active lives after disease or trauma.

“We are encouraged that nearly 400 people received organ or tissue transplants as a result of the generous gifts each donor and their family choose to give.  In addition to families, we attribute this impact to continued partnership with more than 100 hospitals in our service area, four local transplant centers and the Colorado & Wyoming Division of Motor Vehicles, whose more than 80 driver’s license offices continue to advocate organ and tissue donation to the thousands of customers they serve each year,” said Sue Dunn, Donor Alliance President and CEO. “The staff at Donor Alliance remains committed to decreasing the list of more than 2,200 people in Colorado and Wyoming who continue to wait for their lifesaving gift.”

After opening a new, state-of-the-art recovery center in June of 2011, Donor Alliance transferred its first organ recovery case to the Lowry, Colo. facility in April of 2012. In all, eight organ and nearly 1,000 tissue recoveries were performed in the facility.

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.

Further, 87,893 additional names were added to the Donate Life Colorado Organ and Tissue Donor Registry in 2012 than in 2011. Though the donor designation rate (the rate at which individuals join the state donor registry as a percentage of licensed drivers and ID card holders) dropped by less than half a percent in 2012, Colorado continues to maintain one of the highest donor designation rates in the nation. At the close of 2012, 66.5 percent of Colorado’s licensed drivers and ID card holders had joined the registry. Similarly, Wyoming’s state donor registry maintained a strong 59 percent for the second consecutive year, also among the country’s top 10.

TOTAL    2012
Local Organ Donors    126
Kidney Transplants    203
Liver Transplants    84
Heart Transplants    47
Lung Transplants    34
Pancreas Transplants    21
Small Intestine Transplant    1
Total Local Organs Transplanted     390
Local Tissue Donors    1,017
Bone Donors    555
Skin Donors    934
Heart Valve Donors    105
Joint Restoration Donors    83
Source: Donor Alliance data

Despite the generosity of donor family members and the efforts of Donor Alliance staff and partner organizations, 81 Colorado and Wyoming residents died while waiting for an organ transplant in 2012. Over 2,200 people in the area continue to wait for a lifesaving transplant.

Join the nearly 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 To register to be an organ and tissue donor, please visit, or call 303-329-4747 or 1-888-256-4386 for more information.

About Donor Alliance
Donor Alliance is the federally-designated, non-profit organ procurement organization and an American Association of Tissue Banks (AATB) accredited tissue bank serving Colorado and most of Wyoming. As a recognized leader in facilitating the donation and recovery of transplantable organs and tissues, Donor Alliance’s mission is to save lives through organ and tissue donation and transplantation. To achieve this mission, Donor Alliance employs an effective family approach and recovery programs in more than 100 hospitals. Donor Alliance also inspires the public to register as organ and tissue donors through community partnerships, public outreach and education campaigns throughout its donation service area. For more information visit the Donor Alliance website, or the Donate Life Colorado or Donate Life Wyoming Facebook pages.