Health Services Utilization
In 2005, there were 28,106 organ transplants in
the Unites States. Since 1988, there have been 364,533 transplants,
with the number increasing each year. In 2005, the gender distribution
among organ donors was almost even (7,246 females and 7,244 males
donated organs). Females were more likely than males to donate organs
while alive (59.1 percent of living donors were female).
However, the need for donated organs greatly
exceeds their availability, so waiting lists for organs are growing.
As of March 3, 2006, there were 90,997 people awaiting the opportunity
for a life-saving organ transplant. Females composed 41.9 percent
of those patients waiting and only 37.9 percent of those who received
a transplant in 2005. Among women waiting on the list, 47.4 percent
were White, 28.9 percent were Black, and 15.9 percent were Hispanic.
The kidney is the organ in highest demand, with 27,382 females awaiting
a kidney as of March 3, 2006.
The number of organs donated remained roughly
static from 1990-2003. Beginning in 2003, the donation community
began to work together through the Organ Donation Breakthrough Collaborative
and other grassroots efforts to increase donation. In 2004, donations
increased by an unprecedented 12 percent over the previous year,
and in 2005 they increased yet again by another 9 percent, resulting
in an additional 2,000 lives saved or enhanced through transplantation.
One of the challenges of organ donation is obtaining consent from
the donor family or legal surrogate. Some of the reasons consent
rates vary include religious perception, poor communication between
health care providers and grieving families, perceived inequities
in the allocation system, and lack of knowledge of the wishes of
The Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network
and the Scientific Registry of Transplant Recipients are administered
by HRSA’s Healthcare Systems Bureau (HSB). Other programs
administered by HSB include the National Marrow Donor Program, the
National Cord Blood Stem Cell Bank, the National Vaccine Injury
Compensation Program, and the Smallpox Emergency Personnel Protection
1 2003 OPTN/SRTR Annual Report: Transplant Data
1992-2002. HHS/HRSA/SPB/DOT; UNOS; URREA.