For the second consecutive year, a record number of organ and tissue donations were made in Nebraska.
Last year, 72 people who died donated organs, resulting in 214 organ transplants. In addition to organs, 670 people donated tissue such as bone, skin and heart valves. In addition, 264 new mothers donated birth tissue — placenta and umbilical cord — which provides healing for patients with chronic wounds, traumatic burns and ulcers.
Among last year’s donors was a 105-year-old who became the oldest donor in Live On Nebraska’s history.
In 2019, the organization had 71 deceased donors, 608 tissue donations and 201 birth tissue donations.
Live On Nebraska, a local nonprofit, is an organ procurement organization working to recover organs and tissue for transplantation.
More than 100,000 Americans are in need of a lifesaving organ transplant, with 400 of those in Nebraska.
The records were set despite the coronavirus pandemic. Dr. Lee Morrow, Live On Nebraska’s medical director, said donations from patients who previously tested positive for COVID-19 are safe.
“As we currently understand the coronavirus, any organ can potentially be transplanted from a donor who has recovered from a previous COVID-19 infection,” Morrow said. “But because the virus primarily infects the respiratory system, transplantation of lungs post-COVID infection hasn’t been embraced.”