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New record totals of organ, tissue donors in Nebraska contribute to record number of transplants

Posted at 3:10 PM, Jan 13, 2022

OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — Nebraska and national numbers for organ transplants both broke records for 2021.

Live On Nebraska reported that there were 97 organ donors and 297 birth tissue donors in Nebraska last year, both of which are record-breaking figures. This contributed to 273 organs transplanted in 2021.

The nonprofit is one of 58 organ procurement organizations in the United States, where more than 41,000 organ transplants were performed in 2021. Live On Nebraska also maintains the Donor Registry of Nebraska.

“We are incredibly proud to have achieved a new donation record and to have saved more lives than ever before,” said President & CEO of Live On Nebraska Kyle Herber in a news release. “We are continuously humbled by the generosity of Nebraska’s donors and their families. Their ‘yes’ to donation, and the tireless efforts of our employees, impact thousands of people across the country, and it’s gratifying to know that so much hope and healing is being generated right here in Nebraska.”

There are two types of tissue donors, one being birth tissue such as the placenta and umbilical cord, the other being bone and skin and heart valves. The birth tissue from 297 mothers of newborns was used to heal patients with traumatic burns, chronic wounds and ulcers. The 583 non-birth tissue donors was not a record-breaking figure but the tissue grafts assist amputees, help breast cancer patients and can even aid in sports injuries.

Donation registration is available online at Live On Nebraska's website, at the DMV when receiving a driver's license or even by mailed forms to Live On Nebraska. Anyone at or over the age of 16 is eligible, as there are no limitations to registration regarding health or lifestyle. These options are only for donations upon death, though Nebraska Medicine does operate a living donor program that allows patients to donate kidneys and livers to those in need while still alive.

The Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network, which operates under the U.S. Department of Health and Services, shows that there are 182 people in need of a kidney donor and 86 who need liver transplants in the state of Nebraska. The Cornhusker state has a total of 323 candidates in need of a variety of organs while there are nearly 107,000 candidates who comprise the national waiting list for a variety of organs. For more information on current waiting lists in the state of Nebraska, visit the site.

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