Organ Transplantation Supply & Demand

There is a shortage of organs as a result of a growing demand. Here are some facts (1998):

  • 61,000 people are waiting for organs in the United States. Well over half of these (37,000) need kidneys.
  • The number of patients awaiting kidneys for transplantation has more than doubled in the past 10 years.
  • 11,000 people await livers for transplantation, while 4,000 need a heart, and 3,000 need a lung.
  • The TOTAL number of solid organs transplanted last year was just over 9000!
  • About 60% of organs transplanted last year were taken from cadavers.

Part of the explanation for the increase in demand for organs is that patients with the serious organ diseases are living longer.

Part of the explanation for the limit of supply of organs is less motor vehicle injury due to public health initiatives.

SOURCE: Annals of Internal Medicine 1998;129:1093-4


Last Editorial Review: 4/15/2002