U.S. surpasses 1 million organ transplants as need continues to soar
The U.S. surpassed one million organ transplants on Friday, reaching a milestone decades after the first successful transplant with a kidney in 1954.
Details: So far this year, 24,414 people have had a transplant operation, according to the United Network for Sharing Organs (UNOS), which runs the U.S.'s transplant system.
- Almost 106,000 people are waiting for life-saving organ transplants.
- Roughly 17 a day die waiting, AP reports.
- Kidneys remain the highest in demand.
The big picture: More than 41,000 people in America underwent an organ transplant in 2021 — a new record after the pandemic led to a slight slowdown of the life-saving procedures in 2020.
- The UNOS, however, has caught backlash from Congress members for failing to enforce a centralized transportation system. Delays and logistical problems often put the organs in jeopardy at the risk of the patient.
- Tens of thousands of organs go unrecovered and untransplanted each year, with those failures most often impacting people of color.
- Health experts and advocates have launched a new campaign aimed at speeding up the amount of time it takes to reach the next million transplants.