LOPA says that in 2021, they set a record for organ donations in the state. They say those records were with the number of organ donors and the number of organs transplanted.
According to LOPA, Louisiana had 242 organ donors who provided 763 organs to waiting transplant recipients.
The number of donors increased 15% over last year, despite the challenges of a continuing pandemic and the devastation of Hurricane Ida, they say.
There were also 479 people who donated tissue last year for use in procedures such as heart valve transplants for children born with congenital heart defects, skin grafts for burn victims, and a variety of orthopedic rehabilitation surgeries. One tissue donor can provide life saving grafts for up to 75 individuals.
"More than 62% of these donor heroes made the decision for themselves by registering in advance as donors. This action not only helps ensure an individual’s end of life decision is honored while also taking the burden off family members to make a decision during such a traumatic time," LOPA said in a release.
In addition to organ and tissue donation, LOPA has a research team that identifies new projects to help with medical advancements and therapies. A particular area of focus for LOPA in 2021 was brain donation, which not only provides families additional donation opportunities but also helps with groundbreaking work in traumatic brain injury and autism research.
“We are in a unique position to help facilitate transplant recipients getting a second chance at life and provide support to families on their grief journey,” said Kelly Ranum, LOPA’s CEO. “The selflessness of our donors and their families offer the potential for healing. With almost 2,000 people in Louisiana waiting for a lifesaving organ, it is important we continue to set and achieve bold goals so that we are able to help and heal even more individuals in the coming years.”
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