Liver transplant numbers have set records for nine years straight
Despite ongoing challenges from the pandemic, more patients than ever are receiving lifesaving liver transplants.
Thanks to the generosity of organ donors and their families, organ procurement organizations and transplant hospitals across the country contributed to a record breaking 2021. In total, 9,236 lifesaving liver transplants were performed last year.
It’s the ninth consecutive year that number has been an all-time high.
Some other data highlights from 2021:
330 more transplants were performed in 2021 than in 2020
569 transplants came from living donors, a new record for people making a lifesaving decision to give a portion of their liver to someone in need
Liver transplant accounted for 22% of the 41,354 transplants performed in 2021
All time volume records for deceased donor liver transplantation were set in:
- District of Columbia
- New Jersey
- New York
The continued increase in liver transplants follows recent policy changes that were developed to make the system more fair for patients, regardless of where they live. These changes went into effect in February 2020. While COVID-19 impacted transplant across the country, data monitoring shows the liver policies are having their intended effect—2020 and 2021 both saw new records set for liver transplant and the great majority of liver transplant programs experienced similar or even higher volume of liver transplants than before the policy was enacted.
Learn more about liver distribution policy.
Enhancements to OUT (Organ Utilization Tool) give insight into organ movement, timing of responses and use of provisional yes at each program.
Project participants experienced more DCD recoveries and transplants than the rest of the nation.
The new policy helped increase the number of kidney’s transplanted, but the system is still changing to help more people.