Every 10 minutes, a person is added to the national waiting list to receive a lifesaving organ transplant.
More than 123,000 people in the U.S. are currently on this list. Of them, 5,504 are listed at centers in Florida, and 704 are listed at UF Health Shands Transplant Center.*
Unfortunately, this waiting list grows exponentially, and an average of 21 people die each day awaiting a transplant. While the medical technology is available for successful transplantations, there is a drastic shortage of donor organs.
In 2014, more than 24,000 patients nationally received life-saving organ transplants, and 1,464 were transplanted at Florida centers thanks to the gift of life through organ donation.
National research shows more than 90 percent of the population supports organ and tissue donation, but the national consent rate remains at 50 percent. This discrepancy results from many people not knowing their loved one’s wishes, not knowing enough about organ donation or having false or misleading information about donation.
The teams at LifeQuest Organ Recovery Services and UF Health work diligently to help combat the shortage of organs through education, promotion and awareness campaigns. LifeQuest covers a 36-county territory in North Florida and works with more than 70 hospitals throughout this area to provide professional training to health care professionals involved in the identification and referral of potential organ donors.
One person joining Florida’s Joshua Abbott Organ and Tissue Donor Registry has the possibility of saving eight lives through organ donation and enhancing hundreds of other lives through the gift of eye and tissue donation. People of all ages, from newborns to seniors, have become organ donors. In fact, the nation’s oldest organ donor was just nine days shy of his 93rd birthday.
For more information about organ and tissue donation or to register your wishes to become a life-saving donor, visit www.DonateLifeFlorida.org.
* Source: United Network for Organ Sharing as of March 6, 2015.