INDIANAPOLIS, Oct. 26, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Despite the COVID-19 pandemic – and with more than two months remaining in 2020 – a record number of Hoosier organ donors have already given the gift of life through Indiana Donor Network, resulting in a record number of lifesaving organs transplanted in a single calendar year.
From Jan. 1 through Oct. 12, 2020, Indiana Donor Network, the state's federally designated organ recovery organization, made it possible for 667 lifesaving organs to go to patients on the national transplant waiting list. This total breaks Indiana Donor Network's existing record of 665 lifesaving organs transplanted in all of 2019 and puts the organization on pace to facilitate 28% more organ transplants this year than last year.
As of Oct. 12, Indiana Donor Network helped 199 Hoosier organ donors give the gift of life in 2020, which breaks the existing record of 198 Hoosier organ donors in all of 2019 and also puts the organization on track to help 28% more Hoosier organ donors give the gift of life in 2020 than in 2019.
Indiana Donor Network cites several factors that proved critical to reaching an unprecedented number of organ donors and transplants this year, despite facing challenges throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. Early in the outbreak, Indiana Donor Network quickly identified ways to move forward with donation, such as communicating virtually with families of potential organ donors and testing all potential donors for COVID-19 through a partnership with the Indiana State Department of Health. Patients who test positive for COVID-19 cannot become organ or tissue donors because of health risks to the transplant recipients.
Prior to the rise of the pandemic, Indiana Donor Network also made several process improvements, such as working more closely with Indiana hospital partners to increase donor referral rates and increasing the age range for patients who can potentially become organ donors. Indiana Donor Network is also coordinating more cases of donation after cardiac death and doing more on-site evaluations of potential organ donors than ever before.
Furthermore, Indiana Donor Network President and CEO Kellie Hanner says 2020 will be the first full calendar year with more than 4 million Hoosiers on the Indiana Donor Registry. "This record-breaking year is possible because of the generosity of Hoosier organ donors and their families," said Hanner. "By saying yes to donation, they are saving and healing more lives than ever before. We are grateful to these individuals and their families, and together with our hospital and transplant center partners, we are committed to ensuring these lifesaving gifts continue to reach those who need them most."
Despite the record-setting year, more than 110,000 people nationwide are still waiting for a lifesaving organ transplant, and 1,300 of those patients are here in Indiana. Every 10 minutes, another person is added to the national transplant waiting list.
Anyone, no matter their age or medical history, can sign up to be an organ donor. To learn more, visit IndianaDonorNetwork.org.
About Indiana Donor Network
The decision to become an organ, tissue and eye donor is a decision to give the gift of life. Indiana Donor Network serves as the vital link between donors and patients waiting for lifesaving organ transplants, healing tissue and corneas to restore sight. We are the state's federally designated organ recovery organization and an accredited tissue bank. Our team of nearly 225 dedicated professionals is committed to saving and healing lives through donation and transplantation, championing the cause through education and outreach and supporting donor families in their time of need. For more information or to sign up as a donor, visit IndianaDonorNetwork.org.
Indiana Donor Network® and the Indiana Donor Network Foundation® are federally registered trademarks.
SOURCE Indiana Donor Network