Here are the statistics, per the US (OPTN) Organ Procurement and Transplant Network, as of Sunday at 7:45 AM:
  • 100,571 people in the US are waiting for life extending organ transplants.
  • 2,700 need a heart transplant
  • 15,941 need a liver transplant
  • 1,585 need a pancreas transplant
  • 78,082 need a kidney transplant
  • 2,015 need a lung transplant
  • 248 need some combination of the above
  • From January to August 2008, 18,659 doctors had performed 18,659 transplants
  • From January to August 2008, the OPTN recovered 9,490 organs for transplant
The issue is close to me because my father, when his heart was failing, was “too sick” to receive a transplant and because my neighbor donated a kidney to his sister just over a year ago.

In my neighbor’s sister’s case, she hit the organ donor lottery; a family member nearby, ready willing and able to help. Many are not so fortunate, and rely on OPTN to live another day, week, year or however long a transplant will extend their lives.

Still feeling puffed up about that 7% you peeled off last year’s corrugated expense? What if your performance was measure in kidneys, or hearts and lungs? Put things in perspective, doesn’t it?

We’re not saying that good work for your company doesn’t matter. Peeling 7% or any % off an annual spend does matter, it matters a lot, and even more so in challenging economic times.
But this is the time of year that our society has chosen for thanks giving, gift giving and personal reflection.

That’s why the OPTN team deserves special mention for “savings” that we can’t measure in dollars.

Now that’s procurement of which we can all be proud.
Share To:

Strategic Sourceror

Post A Comment:

2 comments so far,Add yours

  1. Hey Sourceror...

    Thank you for highlighting the accomplishments of the OPTN, UNOS and all of the OPOs involved... I've been alive through their "Breakthrough Collaborative" -- an effort undertaken to, among other things, spread "best practices" throughout the organ donation, procurement and transplant communities. It's been inspiring to watch the progress over the past few years... It's been inspiring to be a little part of it.

    I'm alive because of these folks -- and because of a beautiful girl from Iowa named Kari. I think of her throughout the day, every day -- I can see her smile when I close my eyes. Kari was 17, but in the month before she passed away, she told her family twice how strongly she felt about organ donation... And I think of all of these people working for folks like me -- and even for the people who blog and give them a pat on the back...

    I'm so sorry about your Dad... I'm so sorry his heart failed and he was "too sick"... Perhaps if things started earlier and organs were more available, we'd be speaking of his amazing new life... I wish he was still here... And thanks for telling us about your neighbor -- the generosity of living donors, whether related or otherwise, is just amazing...

    There is truly something special about a "job" revolving around delivering life from a grieving family, to someone who needs their gift to survive -- it involves true extremes of the spectrum -- a family experiencing devastation at the loss of a loved one, yet reaching out to help others... And a family possibily about to lose a loved one, given a gift that allows them to stay -- given life...

    Thank you for bringing some of this to light... It's still a problem because medical advances are allowing more people to join the list needing a life-saving organ transplant, but the number of donors still isn't quite keeping up - thank you for spreading a little more awareness...

    And to your readers -- Please consider organ and tissue donation -- Join your registry and tell your family how you feel... I know a beautiful girl from Iowa who knew how she felt, and she told her family... I think of her every single day.



    Steve Ferkau
    Chicago, IL

  2. Over half of the 100,000 Americans on the national transplant waiting list will die before they get a transplant. Most of these deaths are needless. Americans bury or cremate about 20,000 transplantable organs every year. Over 6,000 of our neighbors suffer and die needlessly every year as a result.

    There is a simple way to put a big dent in the organ shortage -- allocate donated organs first to people who have agreed to donate their own organs when they die.

    Giving organs first to organ donors will convince more people to register as organ donors. It will also make the organ allocation system fairer. People who aren't willing to share the gift of life should go to the back of the waiting list as long as there is a shortage of organs.

    Anyone who wants to donate their organs to others who have agreed to donate theirs can join LifeSharers. LifeSharers is a non-profit network of organ donors who agree to offer their organs first to other organ donors when they die. Membership is free at or by calling 1-888-ORGAN88. There is no age limit, parents can enroll their minor children, and no one is excluded due to any pre-existing medical condition.