The Journal Gazette
Thursday, January 20, 2022 1:00 am

Record organ donations saved 800 lives last year

Journal Gazette

Indiana Donor Network set a record last year for the number of organs transplanted, surpassing 2020's record high by 10%, officials announced Wednesday.

The 949 organs transplanted in 2021 bested the 2019 total by 43%, according to a news release. More than 800 lives were saved with those organs. In some cases, more than one organ is transplanted into a recipient patient.

Kellie Tremain, Indiana Donor Network's president and CEO, reflected on the past year and the Indianapolis-based nonprofit's 34-year history.

“When I started with the organization 22 years ago, I could have never imagined the massive growth and incredible achievements we have experienced,” she said in a statement. “Our organization remains dedicated every day to growing, improving and challenging each other to think big, serve well and be remarkable.”

Indiana Donor Network, which has a Fort Wayne office, is the federally designated organ recovery organization for 85 of Indiana's 92 counties. 

Nationally in 2021, the U.S. reached more than 40,000 lifesaving organ transplants, according to the United Network for Organ Sharing.

Indiana Donor Network conducted 109 organ recovery surgeries at its onsite Organ and Tissue Recovery Center, which opened in 2020. The organization also supported 2,345 family members of organ and tissue donors through its aftercare program and added more than 120,000 new Hoosiers to the national donor registry.

About 16 people die in the U.S. daily because the organ they needed did not become available in time, officials said.

Nationwide, more than 106,712 people are on the national transplant waiting list, waiting for a lifesaving organ transplant, according to a news release. More than 1,000 of those patients are Hoosiers.

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