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9th year of record-setting liver transplants

9th year of record-setting liver transplants

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Liver transplant numbers have set records for nine years straight

2021: Liver transplants have been setting records for 9 years

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:

  • Arkansas
  • California
  • Colorado
  • District of Columbia
  • Florida
  • Indiana
  • Minnesota
  • Missouri
  • New Jersey
  • New York
  • Ohio
  • Oklahoma
  • Utah
  • Virginia
  • Washington

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.

Magnifying glass inspecting data charts

How do we track policy success?

We look at the data.

Liver transplants* increased by 5.1 percent since policy implementation.

Policy monitoring reports

18-month: *Deceased donor liver-alone transplants

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