Donor Alliance Reports Record Number of Organ and Tissue Donors & Record Rate of People Joining Colorado and Wyoming Donor Registries

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394 organs transplanted from 130 donors, 1,024 tissue donors and record rate of people designating decision to be donors at Colorado and Wyoming Driver’s License Offices reduce deaths on the waiting list

Colorado’s donor designation rate continues to increase, ending 2010 as the top in the nation, with nearly 66 percent of people saying yes when receiving or renewing their driver’s license.

Donor Alliance, the federally-designated, non-profit organ procurement organization and the American Association of Tissue Banks (AATB) accredited tissue bank serving Colorado and Wyoming, had a record number of organ and tissue donors resulting in thousands of lives being saved and healed in 2010. Through the generous gifts of these donors and their families, Donor Alliance was able to facilitate more transplants than in the history of the organization.

With a record 130 organ donors, Donor Alliance experienced growth for the third consecutive year in the number of organs transplanted. Three hundred and ninety-four people received lifesaving organ transplants in Colorado and throughout the country. This is a seven percent increase over last year and 21 percent increase since 2007. Additionally, Donor Alliance’s authorization rates were among the highest in the country at 92 percent. This means that nine out of ten families said “yes” to donation when approached by Donor Alliance staff.

Similarly, the organization worked with a record 1,024 tissue donors and their families to recover lifesaving and healing tissue, providing bone and skin grafts which will impact thousands of lives.

Further, the Donate Life Colorado Organ and Tissue Donor Registry experienced the highest donor designation rate [the rate at which individuals join the state donor registry as a percentage of licensed drivers and ID card holders] since the registry’s establishment in 2001. At the close of 2010, 65.7 percent of Colorado’s licensed drivers and ID card holders had joined the registry. Similarly, Wyoming’s registry improved to a 59 percent donor designation rate from 55 at the end of 2009.

Forty-nine percent of the 130 organ donors and 55 percent of the 1,024 tissue donors in 2010 were listed on state donor registries.

“Looking back at 2010, we feel fortunate to have interacted with each organ and tissue donor family as we worked to transplant more organs and tissue than ever before,” said Sue Dunn, president and CEO of Donor Alliance. “Each family and their loved ones enabled us to achieve our mission to save lives through organ and tissue donation and transplantation. My hope is that each family finds solace that their loved one’s lifesaving and healing gifts had a direct impact on people waiting for an organ transplant and thousands in need of tissue.”

Donor Alliance attributes Colorado’s high donor designation rates to its partnership with the Division of Motor Vehicles and the work of the 56 driver’s license offices throughout the state who continue to be advocates of organ and tissue donation to the thousands of customers they serve each year. Colorado’s donor designation rate continues to increase, ending 2010 as the top in the nation, with nearly 66 percent of people saying yes when receiving or renewing their driver’s license. Wyoming remains in the country’s top five as well.

“I am impressed with the increased collaboration of our staff and the 100 hospitals we serve,” said Dunn. “Each hospital champion equips our staff to make donation possible for each family faced with the opportunity. Without that support, our mission would not be feasible.”

Join the nearly 66 percent of Coloradoans who have registered to be organ and tissue donors. For more information about organ and tissue donation, please visit DonorAlliance.org. To register to be an organ and tissue donor, please visit DonateLifeColorado.org or call 303-329-4747 or toll-free at 1-888-256-4386 for more information.

About Donor Alliance
Donor Alliance is the federally-designated, non-profit organ procurement organization and an American Association of Tissue Banks (AATB) accredited tissue bank serving Colorado and most of Wyoming. As a recognized leader in facilitating the donation and recovery of transplantable organs and tissues, Donor Alliance’s mission is to save lives through organ and tissue donation and transplantation. To achieve this mission, Donor Alliance employs an effective family approach and recovery programs in more than 100 hospitals. Donor Alliance also inspires the public to register as organ and tissue donors through community partnerships, public outreach and education campaigns throughout its donation service area.

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Jennifer Nuhfer
The Bawmann Group
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