The NHS recently reported that organ donor rates have fallen for the first time in over a decade. In the US specifically, over 122,000 people are on a waitlist to receive much needed organs. According to the United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS), every 10 minutes another name is added to the transplant waiting list, but an average of 21 people still die every day because there aren’t enough organs available.
Unfortunately, even actively recruiting organ donors won’t make the organ shortage go away. Dr. Mark Siegler, MD, Director of the MacLean Center for Medical Ethics argues that the shortage can only be solved with living donors.
“The growing gap between waiting list and available organs cannot be solved without living donors, because the potential supply is far, far greater than the potential supply of deceased donors.”
The good news is we’re getting closer to a future where neither living nor deceased donors will be necessary. You know what’s even sexier than organ donation? Bioprinting organs.