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Celebrating National Donor Day

Celebrating National Donor Day

Many of us spend Valentine’s Day celebrating and spending time with that special someone in our lives. Still, as healthcare professionals know, it’s also a special day in medicine−National Donor Day. Observed each year on February 14, National Donor Day recognizes the life-saving benefits of donating organs, tissues, marrow, platelets, and blood.

Every two seconds, a patient is in need of blood, with type O being the most requested. Thankfully an estimated 6.8 million Americans donate blood each year, according to the American Red Cross. Organ donations are not as common, but the United States continues to lead in transplant procedures.


Organ Donations

Last year, the United States passed a major milestone, recording the nation’s one millionth organ transplant, more than any other country. Doctors performed over 42,800 transplants in 2022, saving a record number of lives for the 12th year in a row, according to the United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS).

There are over 100,000 people on the national transplanting waiting list.

On average, 20 people die every day waiting for a transplant, but one organ donor can save up to eight lives and improve the quality of others through organ, eye, and tissue donations. According to the CDC, the kidney, liver, heart, lungs, pancreas, and intestines are the most commonly transplanted organs in the U.S., according to the CDC. The most commonly transplanted tissues are bones, tendons, ligaments, skin, heart valves, blood vessels, and cornea. Approximately 2.5 million tissue grafts are transplanted each year.

Great strides have been made in transplants. Last summer, a team of Swiss surgeons successfully treated a damaged liver for three days in a machine outside the body before transplanting the repaired organ into a cancer patient. One year later, the patient is still doing well.

This National Donor Day, we celebrate all those who have donated blood or become organ donors. We also celebrate all of our Explorers who play a role in successful transplants and care.


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