ST. LOUIS (February 1, 2017) – Mid-America Transplant marked a record number of tissue donations in 2016 totaling 1,662 donors throughout eastern Missouri, southern Illinois and northeast Arkansas throughout 2016. These donations have the potential to provide more than 75,000 recipients with tissues including corneas, bone, skin, heart valves, tendons and veins.
“We are inspired to see growing numbers of donors and families choosing to give these lifesaving gifts,” said Diane Brockmeier, CEO of Mid-America Transplant. “Facilitating this level of donation, including a record 60 percent authorization rate for tissue and 85 percent authorization rate for organs, would not be possible without our highly skilled, compassionate and mission-focused team.”
2016 tissue donations by the numbers:
- 1,394 bone donors, a record number for Mid-America Transplant, helped repair injured knees, spines and hips and reconstruct jaws following trauma or tumor removal.
- 1,231 eye donors provided corneas for vision-saving transplants.
- 891 skin donors enabled doctors to create skin grafts for patients with burns and critical wounds.
- 277 heart valve donors, a 45 percent increase over 2015, helped save the lives of children and young adults born with serious heart defects.
- 195 saphenous vein donors, more than double 2015, restored blood flow for patients with restricted flow to their legs or were used in coronary artery bypass surgeries.
Nationally, the U.S. recorded its highest year for organ transplants and the fourth consecutive year for record- breaking growth, according to United Network for Organ Sharing. In Mid-America Transplant’s tristate service area, 180 individuals provided lifesaving organ donations in 2016, the second-highest year for organ donors in the organization’s history. Donations of kidneys, livers, lungs, hearts, pancreases and intestines resulted in 551 organs transplanted from donors within Mid-America Transplant’s service area last year.
A recipient of the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award for Performance Excellence, Mid-America Transplant attributes high donation numbers to continued innovation to improve processes to facilitate more lifesaving transplants. Much of these efforts center on improving the collaboration between Mid-America Transplant, medical professionals and donor families to achieve higher authorization rates and enhance the donation process.
“We’re in a challenging business because record-breaking donor numbers also tell another story – the grief so many individual families in our region faced with the loss of a loved one,” said Brockmeier. “We are the stewards of the gifts donors and their families have given, and we are inspired to carry on their memory by helping as many people as possible get the organ and tissue transplants they need.”
To learn more about registering to be an organ and tissue donor, visit www.midamericatransplant.org or sign up at your local Department of Motor Vehicles office.