Need For Organ Donors Grows as National Kidney Foundation's Annual Campaign Approaches

New York, NY (April 4, 2001) - The number of Americans waiting for an organ transplant in this country is growing at an alarming rate, currently totaling more than 75,000. That's why the National Kidney Foundation is asking all Americans to take action by getting the facts about organ donation and signing an organ donor card during National Organ and Tissue Donor Awareness Week, April 15-22, 2001.

Of these 75,000 patients, only one out of three will receive their much needed transplant. This is due to the critical shortage of organ donors in this country.

"Americans need to be aware of the life-saving power of organ donation" says William F. Keane, MD, president of the National Kidney Foundation. "Just one organ donor can actually save or improve the lives of up to 30 people." But signing a donor card is not enough, he cautions. "Donors also need to discuss their choice with their families, because family consent at the time of donation is required in order for their wishes to be carried out."

As the list for patients waiting for an organ transplant increases, so does the success rate of transplant procedures. Due to advances in surgical techniques and organ preservation, the patient survival rate for a kidney transplant was over 94 percent in 2000. These success rates have allowed organ recipients to go on to lead healthy, long-lasting lives.

The National Kidney Foundation is dedicated to preventing kidney and urinary tract diseases, improving the health and well-being of individuals and families affected by these diseases and increasing the availability of all organs for transplantation.