The national transplant system is working
2020 sets all-time high for most lives saved by deceased organ donors
The U.S. has the highest-performing organ donation and transplant system in the world, even in the midst of a global pandemic. We have more organ donors and more annual transplants and we save more lives through organ donation than any other country.*
In other parts of the world, transplant rates have fallen significantly amid the spread of COVID-19. Despite a 50% drop in deceased donor transplantation early in the pandemic, the U.S. system proved its strength and resilience by recovering quickly and continuing to outperform itself.
Second highest annual total
More than 39,000
lives saved through transplant in 2020
An all-time high
More than 33,000
life-saving transplants from deceased donors in 2020
deceased donor transplants
performed in 2020 than in 2019
34 organ procurement organizations
set all-time organ donation records in 2020
consecutive record year for deceased donation
increase in deceased donors over 2019
increase in organ donation from deceased donors over the last five years
More than 7,300
living donor transplants in 2019
The number of living donor transplants performed in 2020 was significantly affected by the pandemic, dropping by 22% due to patient safety concerns.
more transplants performed than five years ago
Save even more lives
Learn about a five-part package of reforms UNOS is proposing to improve the U.S. organ donation and transplant system
As good as the U.S. organ transplantation system is, it needs to be even better to be able to serve the more than 100,000 people waiting for organs at any given time. UNOS is committed to driving continuous improvement to serve those patients and promote an ongoing increase in organ donation and transplants.
- Learn more about how the national organ donation and transplant system works.
- Read the news release.
- Download a PDF version of this page.