CHA News Article

Organ Donation at California Hospitals on the Rise

Organ donation has increased 8 percent in California hospitals in the last 12 months, and the first six months of 2015 have seen a 12 percent surge when compared to the past three-year average. Last week, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recognized 121 California hospitals for achievements in promoting organ donation.

With nearly 22,000 people awaiting a transplant in California, all four of the state’s organ procurement organizations (OPOs) have reported donation increases this year. According to OneLegacy, the greater Los Angeles area OPO, much of the growth can be attributed to collaboration between hospitals, physicians and the OPOs in helping families incorporate donation into end-of-life care plans. In addition, the DonateLife California Registry now has 12.3 million registrants.

However, California’s 20 transplant centers currently care for nearly 18 percent of the U.S. transplant waiting list, well beyond the state’s 12 percent of the nation’s population. California also has one of the nation’s youngest and healthiest populations and longest lifespans, so organ donor potential is 21 percent lower than the country as a whole. As a result of these demographic factors, average wait time for transplant in California is the longest in the country. CHA is committed to working with California’s OPOs to improve national organ allocation rules, with the goal of reducing wait times and saving more lives through organ, eye and tissue donation.