LOPA Sets New Record for Organ Donation in 2021

In 2021, for the first time, Louisiana had 242 organ donors who provided 763 organs to waiting transplant recipients. The number of donors increased 15% over last year, despite the challenges of a continuing pandemic and the devastation of Hurricane Ida.

There were also 479 people who donated tissue last year for use in procedures such as heart valve transplants for children born with congenital heart defects, skin grafts for burn victims, and a variety of orthopedic rehabilitation surgeries. One tissue donor can provide life-saving grafts for up to 75 individuals.

More than 62% of these donor heroes made the decision for themselves by registering in advance as donors. This action not only helps ensure an individual’s end of life decision is honored while also taking the burden off family members to make a decision during such a traumatic time.

Throughout the year, LOPA remained focused on supporting the families of its donors, whether it was adapting remembrance ceremonies to socially distanced outdoor events or trying to find ways for loved ones to say goodbye with hospital visitation restrictions in place.

In addition to organ and tissue donation, LOPA has a research team that identifies new projects to help with medical advancements and therapies. A particular area of focus in 2021 was brain donation, which not only provides families additional donation opportunities but also helps with groundbreaking work in traumatic brain injury and autism research.
“We are in a unique position to help facilitate transplant recipients getting a second chance at life and provide support to families on their grief journey,” said Kelly Ranum, LOPA’s CEO. “The selflessness of our donors and their families offer the potential for healing. With almost 2,000 people in Louisiana waiting for a lifesaving organ, it is important we continue to set and achieve bold goals so that we are able to help and heal even more individuals in the coming years.”