SYS-CON MEDIA Authors: Elizabeth White, Liz McMillan, Pat Romanski, Esmeralda Swartz, Kevin Jackson

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A Record Year For Organ And Tissue Donation In Colorado & Wyoming In 2013

Local organ procurement organization announces increase in driver's license office registration and lives saved through donation and transplantation

DENVER, Jan. 22, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- 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 organs and tissues when approached by Donor Alliance staff.

ORGAN DATA

2009

2010

2011

2012

2013

Local Organ Donors

115

130

134

126

148

Kidney Transplants

194

217

223

203

241

Liver Transplants

97

87

100

84

109

Heart Transplants

27

40

54

47

43

Lung Transplants

26

28

44

34

45

Pancreas Transplants

21

21

25

21

24

Small Intestine Transplant

3

1

0

1

1

Total Local Organs Transplanted (Lives Saved)

368

394

446

390

463

 

TISSUE DATA

2009

2010

2011

2012

2013

Local Tissue Donors

894

1,024

966

1017

1,177

Bone Donors

552

486

565

555

660

Skin Donors

648

936

882

934

1076

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.

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.

SOURCE Donor Alliance

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