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Clin Transpl. 1990:319-27.

The demand for transplantation in the United States.

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Health and Population Research Center, Battelle-Seattle Research Center, Washington.


Between January 1, 1980 and December 31, 1990 the number of persons awaiting a kidney transplant increased by 243%. Between December 1987 and December 1990 the number of persons awaiting a heart transplant increased by 178%, a liver transplant by 176%, a heart-lung transplant by 53%, and a pancreas transplant by 1,178%. The number of persons awaiting transplantation continues to increase, although there have been occasional monthly decreases in the number of persons awaiting a liver or a pancreas transplant. Donor supply continues to be inadequate to meet the demand for transplantation. For the past 4 years there have been approximately 4,000 donors annually. The potential supply of organ donors is estimated to be somewhere between 7,100 and 26,000 annually. However, given public attitudes toward organ donation, donor supply is probably between 5,700 and 9,300 annually. Therefore, with the exception of kidney transplantation, it is conceivable that the majority of people who are awaiting transplantation could be transplanted.

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