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2019 Most Successful Year Ever Recorded for Organ and Tissue Donation in Colorado and Wyoming

DENVER, Jan. 15, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Donor Alliance, the federally designated non-profit organization that facilitates organ and tissue donation in Colorado and most of Wyoming, recorded the most successful year the region has ever seen in 2019, helping save the lives of 596 people through organ donation and save and heal thousands more through tissue donation.

The generosity of the donors and their families in Colorado and Wyoming helped to shatter several records, including:

  • 191 organ donors saving the lives of 596 people through organ donation and transplantation.
  • 2,118 tissue donors providing bone and skin grafts to save and heal the lives of tens of thousands of recipients in need.

In 2019, Donor Alliance facilitated more organ transplants than ever by 19%, exceeding the previous high set in 2018, and a 29% increase since 2013. In addition, the organization reported a 21% increase in tissue donors over the previous record with 2,118 tissue donors, including 1,950 skin donors and 127 heart valve donors. Through procedures like skin grafting and reconstructive surgeries, these lifesaving and healing donations will help thousands of people regain mobility and lead active lives after disease or trauma.

"Each day, our staff works tirelessly to save the 2,000 lives in our region waiting for a lifesaving transplant while also supporting the families of donors that lean on us to honor their loved one's heroic decision to become a donor," said Sue Dunn, Donor Alliance president and CEO. "Achieving our simple, yet powerful mission is made possible by the incredible generosity of the Colorado and Wyoming residents that have signed up to join the organ and tissue donor registry. This support, combined with our strong hospital partnerships and mission-driven culture, helped to save and heal more lives in our region than ever before."

More than one million residents signed up to become donors in 2019, with 1,003,817 in Colorado and 88,922 names in Wyoming being added to the organ, eye and tissue donor registries. The two states continue to maintain some of the highest donor designation rates, or percentage of individuals joining the state donor registries, in the country. Colorado reached number one in the nation in 2018 with a 69% DDR and Wyoming set another record this year at 63%, the highest rate ever for the state. Both states far surpass the national average of 49%, according to Donate Life America.

In addition to the incredible local support for donation, the progress made this year is also a result of a number of process improvements made through the organization's decade-long performance excellence journey, which culminated with a Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award in 2018. These advancements included better processes to identify and refer potential organ donors after cardiac death and streamlined communications with hospital partners to improve the timely notification of potential organ and tissue donors. As medical advances help eligibility criteria expand, medical professionals are also able to maximize organ and tissue donation more than ever before, allowing more people to give the gift of life.   

Despite the year's incredible achievements for donation and transplantation across the region, nearly 2,000 people in the area continue to wait for a lifesaving transplant. With these patients in mind, Donor Alliance continues to tirelessly educate the public on the need for donation and collaborate closely with 115 acute care hospitals, four transplant centers, division of motor vehicles and other partners throughout the two-state area. For more information about donation, or to sign up as an organ, eye and tissue donor, please visit DonateLifeColorado.org or DonateLifeWyoming.org.

Organ and Tissue Donation by the Numbers

ORGAN Donation

2013

2014

2015

2016

2017

2018

2019

Local Organ Donors

148

109

134

139

144

160

191

Kidney Transplants

241

176

226

233

246

268

325

Liver Transplants

109

72

79

84

88

98

119

Heart Transplants

43

37

54

54

43

59

63

Lung Transplants

45

42

59

44

24

52

72

Pancreas Transplants

24

9

10

8

6

11

15

Small Intestine Transplant

1

1

0

1

0

1

2

Total Local Organs Transplanted

463

337

428

424

407

489

596

 

TISSUE Donation

2013

2014

2015

2016

2017

2018

2019

Local Tissue Donors

1,177

1,590

1,674

1,710

1,752

1,684

2,118

Bone Donors

660

830

911

822

832

902

1,109

Skin Donors

1,076

1,386

1,401

1,320

1,503

1,512

1,950

Heart Valve Donors

111

114

117

168

140

95

127

Joint Restoration Donors

106

112

119

89

97

90

121

About Donor Alliance
Donor Alliance is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to saving lives through organ and tissue donation and transplantation. As the organ procurement organization and accredited tissue bank for Colorado and most of Wyoming, Donor Alliance serves more than 5.8 million residents and more than 100 hospitals. The organization adheres to medical, regulatory and ethical standards: respectfully working with the families of organ and tissue donors, maintaining partnerships with hospitals, educating residents on the lifesaving benefits of donation and inspiring them to sign up on the state's donor registry. Colorado and Wyoming boast some of the highest rates of donor registration in the country, which directly translates to more lives saved and healed through organ and tissue transplantation.

Donor Alliance is one of 58 federally designated organizations of its kind in the United States, and is also an American Association of Tissue Banks (AATB) accredited tissue bank. For more information visit DonorAlliance.org or the Donate Life Colorado or Donate Life Wyoming Facebook pages.

Media Contacts:


Courtney Brunkow

Andrea Smith

The Fletcher Group

Donor Alliance

303.717.9575

303.370.5683

courtney@fletchergroupllc.com

asmith@donoralliance.org

 

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SOURCE Donor Alliance