A total of 106,090 people were on the waiting list for potentially life saving organ transplants in 2021, according to data from the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA). Kidney transplants took up the lion's share of these, with 90,483 people awaiting treatment.
The data reveals the extent of the organ shortage crisis in America right now. According to the HRSA, 17 people die each day waiting for an organ transplant, and another person is added to the waiting list every nine minutes. While 90 percent of adults support the idea of organ donation, according to an HRSA report, only 60 percent are actually registered as donors.
The pandemic has exacerbated the shortage crisis in the U.S., with Penn Medical News reporting that the number of recovered organs dropped from more than 110 a day on March 6 in the U.S. to less than 60 per day on April 5. Peter Reese, an associate professor of Medicine and Epidemiology at Penn, tells the news site: “Organs from deceased donors represent a time-limited opportunity, as they must be procured and used rapidly. However, in order to protect the safety of their patients, centers must now carefully vet all donors to ensure there is minimal risk of COVID-19.”