68 years after a man gave his kidney to his identical twin for the country’s first organ transplant, the United States celebrated the one millionth organ transplant on Friday.
The United Network for Organ Sharing, a nonprofit organization with a government contract to manage the country’s sole transplant network, made the announcement about the milestone at 12:50 pm on Friday. The UNOS omitted all additional information, including the transplanted organ’s identity.
The UNOS says that the number of organ transplants has steadily climbed since the first liver transplant occurred in 1954 at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, Massachusetts.
21,414 transplants have taken place so far in 2022, while 41,350 transplants were conducted in 2021, surpassing the 40,000 milestone for the first time. Since 2007, more than 500,000 transplants have taken place.
The UNOS has faced criticism for the programs’ inefficiency.
The UNOS performs a terrible job of tracking organ donors and transplants, according to U.S. members of a U.S. Senate committee in August, an issue that disproportionately affects the poor and minorities and has resulted in fatalities among transplant candidates.
The UNOS has to be changed, according to Massachusetts senator Elizabeth Warren.
Warren remarked, “You ought to lose this contract. “You shouldn’t be let anywhere near our nation’s organ transplant system.”
The UNOS expressed its displeasure with the findings in a statement to The Post, but said that it was “committed to working with Congress to enhance the system, which saves more lives every year.”
A study published in the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology said many donated kidneys are unnecessarily discarded. Kidneys are the organ most in demand for transplants.
The UNOS says it has launched an initiative to make transplants more available to minorities and to use improved technology to track harvested organs and to keep donated organs available longer.