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U.S. reaches historic milestone of 1 million transplants

U.S. reaches historic milestone of 1 million transplants

In a historic milestone, the U.S. has achieved its 1 millionth organ transplant, more than any other country in the world.

Thanks to a growing public commitment to organ donation, and thanks to the collective skill and dedication of thousands of organ donation and transplant professionals, the nation continues its record-setting trend of increases each year in transplantation:

  • In 2021, for the first time, more than 40,000 transplants took place, a total likely to be repeated if not surpassed in 2022.
  • In each of the past 11 years, new annual records have been set in the number of deceased donors nationwide.
  • Half of all the transplants ever performed in the U.S. have taken place in just the past 15 years.
  • More than 400,000 people are alive today with a functioning transplant.

The 1 million milestone demonstrates a powerful trend of system-wide increases, a success made possible by the ongoing expansion of more equitable organ allocation policies, an increasing focus on non-traditional donors, collaborative efforts to increase donation, the continuous evolution of organ preservation techniques and other scientific breakthroughs.

But this is only the beginning.

Accelerating the path to the next 1 million

Living It Forward, a national initiative led by UNOS in partnership with the nation’s organ donation and transplant community, calls to further accelerate the pace of lifesaving transplantation while commemorating so many lives saved, recognizing those still waiting, and remembering those we have lost.

Visit Stories of Hope to read and share stories about some of the people behind the 1 million and see how the gift of life has allowed them to begin living it forward.

Register now to live it forward: Become an organ donor

UNOS encourages everyone to become part of our community by registering as an organ donor. One person can save up to eight lives through organ donation and change the lives of as many as 75 through tissue donation. Because only two percent of people die in a way that makes organ donation possible, the need is great. More than 100,000 people remain on the transplant waitlist. Please register today at


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