Stats And Facts


  • One organ donor can save the lives of up to 8 people.
  • Transplanted organs include the kidneys, liver, heart, lungs, pancreas and intestines.
  • One tissue donor can improve the lives of up to 50 people.
  • Transplanted tissues include corneas, heart valves, skin, bone, tendons, and veins.


  • More than 119,000 people are waiting for a life-saving organ transplants in the U.S. (2017).
  • 731 New Mexicans await life-saving organ transplants which include kidney, heart, liver, lung, pancreas and intestine transplants.
  • A new name is added to the national waiting list every 10 minutes.
  • On average 20 people die each day awaiting a transplant because the organ they needed was not available in time.


  • A record 33,611 life-saving organ transplants took place in the U.S. in 2016.
  • The Gift of Life was given by 9,900 deceased and 5,900 living donors.
  • Each year, there are approximately 30,000 tissue donors and more than 1 million tissue transplants in the U.S. including 48,000 patients who have their sight restored by corneal transplants.


  • There were 146 lives saved by the generosity of 56 New Mexican organ donors.
  • More than 5,000 individuals had their lives restored as a result of New Mexicans who donated the gift of tissue.
  • The Gift of Sight was given to 274 cornea recipients.


  • There are two ways to register as a donor in New Mexico:
    • At MVD (Motor Vehicle Division) when obtaining or renewing your driver’s license or ID card. A RED HEART indicates your decision to be an organ and tissue donor.
    • At on the National Donate Life Registry.
  • Nearly 60% of New Mexicans have registered to be donors!
  • Individuals under age 15 need parental or guardian consent to register at the MVD.
  • Next-of-kin make the donation decision when a loved one has not registered to be a donor.
  • The donor registries are checked at the time of death to determine a person’s donation status.
  • Family members can’t change an individual’s decision to donate.


  • Minorities represent 79% of organ transplant candidates in New Mexico.
  • Hispanics represent 41% of patients awaiting kidney transplants in New Mexico.
  • Native Americans represent 34% of patients awaiting kidney transplants in New Mexico.
  • Minorities are more likely to suffer from conditions that lead to organ failure, such as diabetes, hypertension, and hepatitis.


  • REGISTERING AS AN ORGAN DONOR WILL NOT COMPROMISE YOUR MEDICAL CARE: Donation is only considered after all life-saving efforts have failed and death has been pronounced.
  • FAMILIES DO NOT PAY FOR DONATION COSTS: There is never any cost to the donor family or estate for the gift of donation.
  • A FUNERAL IS POSSIBLE AFTER DONATION: In most cases, organ, tissue and eye donation does not interfere with an open-casket viewing. Before moving forward with a procedure we provide information to families and answer their questions to ensure we fully understand their wishes. The recovery of organs, tissues and eyes is preformed by qualified surgeons and recovery staff in a sterile environment. As in any other surgical procedure, the body is treated with the utmost respect and care.
  • RELIGIONS SUPPORT DONATION : All major religions in the U.S. support donation as an unselfish act of charity that will save or enhance someone’s life.
  • DONORS ARE NOT JUST THE YOUNG AND HEALTHY: A medical evaluation, not age, determines what can be donated at the time of death. The oldest organ donor was 96 years old. Individuals with diabetes, hepatitis, high blood pressure and other diseases are candidates for organ donation, and cancer patients can donate corneas for transplant.


  • Organ donation is an option for individuals who have had a traumatic brain injury in which brain death is determined. Brain death is a medical and legal determination of death resulting from a brain injury resulting in lack of blood flow and oxygen to the brain.
  • Less than 1% of all deaths in the U.S. are determined to be brain deaths.
  • Organs that may be donated after brain death declaration include the kidneys, liver, heart, lungs, pancreas and intestines.
  • Organs must be transplanted within hours. A heart must be transplanted within 4 hours, while kidneys have up to 48 hours for transplant.
  • Organ donation after cardiac death may be an option when families are faced with the decision of removing ventilator support in a hospital setting. Organs that may be donated include kidneys and liver.
  • Tissue donation is an option for anyone who dies a cardiac death in or out of a hospital.
  • Tissue that may be donated include corneas/eyes, heart valves, skin, bone, tendons, and veins.
  • Tissue is needed to replace bone, tendons and ligaments affected by cancer, degenerative joint disease, arthritis and injuries.
  • Bone transplants can prevent the need for amputation or multiple surgical sites during spinal fusion.
  • Skin is urgently needed for patients with severe burns and can mean the difference between life and death.
  • Heart Valves replace those damaged by disease or deformities and offer the chance of an active life for many children and adults.
  • Eye tissue restores sight.


For the latest data go to United Network for Organ Sharing at

New Mexico Waiting List (2017) U.S. Waiting List (2017) U.S. Organ Transplants (2016)
Kidney 588  96,532  19,060
Liver   117  14,280  6,099
Pancreas  7 920  215
 5  1,691  798
Intestine  0 274  147
Heart  15 4,007  3,191
 0 45 18
Lung  6  1,382 2,327
Total  731  116,705  33,610