Gift of Life achieves new marks while saving and improving lives in 2013

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Ann Arbor, Mich. – In 2013, Gift of Life Michigan helped 1,064 people donate organs and tissues for transplant as their final act of generosity.

Those donors and their families provided 915 organs for transplant – each one representing a life saved – and tens of thousands of tissue grafts that will lead to better mobility and health for the recipients.

“Donation has the power to heal lives. We are forever thankful for these donors and for their families. They have left a legacy of generosity,” said Richard Pietroski, chief executive officer of Gift of Life, the state’s federally designated organ and tissue recovery organization

The 915 organs are the second most transplanted in a year for Gift of Life, which was founded in 1971. It corresponds to 3.23 organs transplanted per organ donor, a new high for the organization.

“This means we are ‘maximizing the gift,’ which is critical given the ever-increasing number of people waiting for transplants,” Pietroski said. “We can only do this through the dedication of our own staff and strong collaboration with donor hospitals and transplant centers.”

Other key figures from 2013:

  • There were 283 organ donors and 916 tissue donors (including some who also donated organs).
  • A record 29 percent of the organ donations were through a procedure known as donation after circulatory death, or DCD – well above the national goal of at least 10 percent of cases being DCD.
  • A record 177 lungs were transplanted, making Michigan a nationwide leader in this area.
  • Over 463,000 people joined the Michigan Organ Donor Registry, the second highest total ever.

In Michigan, as of Jan. 1, 2014, more than 3,200 people were in need of a life-saving organ transplant. Nationwide, the figure is over 120,000. Tens of thousands more could benefit from tissue transplants.

Gift of Life Michigan is the state’s federally designated organ and tissue recovery organization and serves as a liaison between donor hospitals and transplant centers. To join the Michigan Organ Donor Registry, go to https://giftoflifemichigan.org/.

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