OneLegacy Leads Nation with Number of Organs Recovered for Transplant in 2012

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OneLegacy increased lung donations by 39% and recovered 1,239 organs for transplant in 2012; more than 67,000 lives saved and healed

The number of organs transplanted per donor was an area of significant improvement. Our Donor Management Intensivist Consult program has helped improve organ function at the time of recovery, especially with lungs.

OneLegacy, the non-profit, federally designated organ and tissue recovery organization serving the seven-county greater Los Angeles area, announced the recovery of more than 2,000 combined organ, tissue and cornea donors in 2012, helping to save and heal more than 67,000 lives in Southern California, the state and nationwide.

Last year, OneLegacy recovered organs from 391 deceased donors. Through the generosity of donations authorized by individual registrations or the donors’ families, OneLegacy facilitated 1,239 organ transplants – more than any other organ recovery organization in the nation.

In 2012, two significant milestones were achieved within OneLegacy’s organ operations: an increase in the number of organs recovered per patient, and the increase in the African American authorization rate. Both achievements are a direct result of OneLegacy’s efforts to maximize every opportunity to save lives, according to Tom Mone, chief executive officer and executive vice president of OneLegacy.

“The number of organs transplanted per donor was an area of significant improvement,” said Mone. “Our Donor Management Intensivist Consult program has helped improve organ function at the time of recovery, especially with lungs. As a result, we saved 60 more lives in comparison to the prior year’s efforts.”

Driving OneLegacy’s organ recovery activity was an authorization rate of 70 percent, the second-highest in the organization’s history. In 2012, seven out of ten organ donation opportunities were authorized either by the individual’s donor designation (primarily through the California DMV) or family consent.

“The authorization rate increase of 21 percentage points since 2000 represents a remarkable shift in attitudes toward organ and tissue donation in Southern California,” said Mone. “This generosity is especially reflected by the increase or stabilization of authorization rates among several ethnic groups.”

The most marked increase was among African Americans, a community with high rates of organ failure but where donation is frequently viewed with mistrust. The authorization rate jumped from 58 percent in 2011 to 70 percent last year. This all-time high reflects the specific focus given to the needs of African American families by OneLegacy, collaborating donor hospitals, and the quality of service delivered to families at hospitals.

As for the authorization rate among other major ethnic groups, the rate among Asians increased by one point to a new record high of 58 percent; the Hispanic rate of 72 percent was three points below 2011’s all-time high; and the rate for potential Caucasian donors was 78 percent, a decrease of six percentage points.

Notably, 30 percent of recovered organ donors and more than 42 percent of recovered tissue and eye donors were authorized by the Donate Life California Registry, which counts nearly 9.7 million registered donors statewide.

Tissue donation increased from 2011, with a total of 1,644 tissue and cornea donors in 2012. Patients nationwide can be thankful for tissue donors who provide skin used for abdominal repairs and burn dressings, bone to repair fractures and prevent amputation, heart valves to repair life-threatening defects, tendons to repair major knee injuries, veins for cardiac bypass surgery, and corneas to end blindness.

Last year, OneLegacy also launched the OneLegacy Foundation to support and expand its life-saving mission, clinical practices, and community outreach. Through its charitable work, the OneLegacy Foundation will contribute to clinical training and research to improve outcomes, honor those who have saved lives as donors, and inspire diverse communities to donate life.

With more than 200 hospitals, 11 transplant centers and a diverse population of 19 million, OneLegacy is the largest organ and tissue recovery organization in the world. For more information, call OneLegacy at (800) 786-4077 or visit

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Elena de la Cruz
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