Quick Facts, Statistics and Information: An Organ Donation Infographic

Written by Study Medicine Europe

The plight of those waiting for organ transplants is not something that is widely reported on, yet it is a daily struggle for over 120,000 people in the United States alone - and countless others around the globe. People of any age can be in need of an organ transplant, and we are more and more frequently seeing successful transplants in younger and older transplant recipients. Depending on the organs that a patient may require, the wait for a healthy organ match can be a long one, and, unfortunately, for an average of 18 people every day - a wait that is too long. While there is an ample amount of information on organ donation and transplants, there is still a great lack of education and many myths that surround the subject. 

Continuing to Make Great Strides for Organ Donation

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Get Involved for Organ Donation and Help Celebrate #DonateLifeMonth

The gift of life is truly something to be celebrated! Please join us as we continue to raise organ donation awareness. Tell your friends, family, and those around you why you registered to be an organ donor (check or register to be an organ donor at and get involved with some of our ideas below!

Read and Share a Helpful One-Sheet

Share the Hope Organ Donation

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Show Your Kidneys Some Love for World Kidney Day

Did you know that over 100,000 of the 123,000 candidates waiting on an organ are waiting on a kidney transplant (based on OPTN data as of March 6, 2015)? That’s roughly 80% of the waiting list transplant candidates!

Photo: Did you know blueberries have been thought to be one of the "kidney superfoods"?

Kidneys are essential to our overall health and well being, as their primary function is to remove waste from our bodies. Additionally they help regulate our blood pressure, blood volume, and the chemical composition of our blood.

World Kidney Day, which started in 2006 with the participation of 66 countries, is a globally recognized health awareness campaign that focuses on the importance of the kidneys to our overall health in an effort to reduce the frequency and impact of kidney disease and it’s associated health problems, worldwide.

Did You Know...

  • One in three Americans is at risk for kidney disease
  • 26 million American adults have Chronic Kidney Disease
  • 12 people die every day waiting on a kidney
  • Kidney disease often has no symptoms
  • Once kidneys fail, dialysis or a kidney transplant is required

See more facts here. 

Take Action

With March being National Kidney Month, it’s the perfect time to take action for your kidneys! 

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National Black History Month: Making an Impact for Organ Donation

With February being National Black History Month, we thought we’d highlight a few people who have made a BIG impact for organ donation, and the need for an increased number of organ donors in the African American community.

Making an Impact for Organ Donation

Dr. Velma Scantlebury - America’s first black female transplant surgeon - has helped perform more than 1,000 kidney transplants since beginning her career in 1989. Extremely passionate about her work in the organ donation community, she works to educate minorities about organ donation in hopes of encouraging them to become organ donors. She has vowed that she will not be satisfied until “the number of African Americans donating equals the number that needs to be transplanted.”  

Image: Dr Velma Scantlebury (AMAT)

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Celebrating National Donor Sabbath 2014: November 14 - 16

Photo: Flickr (Ahuren) - with modifications

While there are many individuals who are aware of - and taking action for - the increasing need for organ donors, there are still many people who have not. Whether it's a lack of awareness for the growing need, forgetfulness to follow through and register, or a number of other obstacles, it presents an opportunity for action. Are you registered as an organ donor?

Click to Find Your State's Organ Donor Registry

This November 14 - 16, learn about National Donor Sabbath and consider how YOU can take part - and encourage others to do the same - in the movement to Outlive Yourself through the power of organ donation.

What is National Donor Sabbath?

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“Dead Heart” Transplants: Breakthrough in Transplants & Organ Donation

In the last several months, three “dead hearts” have been successfully transplanted into three patients at St. Vincent’s Hospital in Sydney, Australia - something that is being referred to as the "biggest heart transplant breakthrough in a decade". 

Photo: Flickr

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Matching Donors with Recipients: The Process of Organ Donation

Have you ever wondered what the process of matching organ donors to organ recipients is like? Look no further and get ready to learn. (Adapted from

Matching Organ Donors with Organ Recipients

Once the evaluation of a deceased donor does not rule out donation, three crucial steps take place to match organ donors with organ recipients: 

1. Communication - The OPO (Organ Procurement Organization) contacts the Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network (OPTN) to begin the search for matching recipients. The OPTN operates the national database of all patients in the U.S. waiting for a transplant. It is operated by the United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS) under contract to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.)

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Broken iPhones, the iPhone 6, and Organ Donation

Have you ever had to visit an Apple store to fix your iPhone? Made an appointment with the Genius Bar?

Not too long ago my son’s iPhone had an issue with the power button and we had to visit Apple to have the phone checked out.

I know… you’re wondering, "What does a broken iPhone have to do with organ donation?" Well, besides the fact that you can't register to be an organ donor using a broken iPhone, two words - demand and confusion.

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Decreasing the Waiting List with Organ Donation Data? Possibly.

Earlier this summer I stumbled across an article published on Mashable that I found quite interesting and wanted to share it with you. The article, Big Data’s Effect on Organ Transplant Wait LIsts, is not only helpful to better understand the complicated process of matching donors to recipients, but also an encouraging reminder of the many people teaming up to save lives through the hope that is organ donation.

You can read here how economists, doctors, and mathematicians are teaming up together to take organ donation to a new level, using data and algorithms (the fancy word for the process of using a specific set of rules to find a calculation) in an effort to save more lives by helping match donors to recipients, more precisely.

Donors, Algorithms, and New Ideas

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Think You’re Too Old to be an Organ Donor? Think Again

Photo: Flickr (Garry Knight)

“I’m too old to be an organ donor!”

“Well… you certainly don’t want my liver!”

“Honey, my organs are worn out… no one would want to receive these.”

These are just a few of the many comments I’ve heard when speaking and meeting with people about organ donation. They’re typically accompanied by a smile or snarky look on their face… but really it’s just another excuse to not spend a few minutes learning about organ donation, the positive impacts it has, registering to become an organ donor, and sharing a life changing decision with family and friends.

Fact: You’re never too old to register to become an organ donor.

The Myths

A few years back I had the opportunity to speak at a local retirement home with an audience full of people 50+ that thought they were too old to become organ donors, most of them over 60 years old. 

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