CLEVELAND, Ohio (WYTV) – A record number of Northeast Ohioans became organ, eye and tissue donors in 2016, Lifebanc said.
Lifebanc is the non-profit organ procurement organization serving a 20-county area in Northeast Ohio.
The organization facilitated the life-saving gifts of 150 organ donors in 2016, an 11.1 percent increase from 2015. A total of 435 organs were transplanted from those individuals, saving the lives of 385 people who had previously been on the transplant waiting list.
Seventy-two percent of the organs were donated to patients at one of Cleveland’s two transplant centers at the Cleveland Clinic and University Hospitals.
Nationally, the number of organ donors increased by 9.2 percent in 2016 to 9,974.
“Lifebanc was honored to facilitate the donation gifts of so many people in 2016. The decision made by these individuals and their families to be organ, eye and tissue donors is truly heroic,” said Lifebanc CEO Gordon Bowen. “The 385 transplant recipients who have been given a second chance at life will forever be living testaments to the life-saving and selfless gifts of these legendary individuals.”
Despite the increase in organ donors in 2016, Lifebanc says there are still nearly 120,000 people in the U.S. waiting for a life-saving organ transplant. About 22 people die each day because the organ they need is not available, according to Lifebanc.
Editor’s note: A previous version of this story reported incorrect information. There were actually 9,974 organ donors in the country last year. The 27,628 number initially cited was the total number of organs donated by those donors.