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Organ Donations on the Rise Following National Initiative

Organ donation rates are up nationwide, and that includes the golden state. Marianne Russ reports.

Organ Donations on the Rise Following National Initiative

Organ donation rates are up nationwide, and that includes the golden state. Marianne Russ reports.

Awhile ago, the U.S. Health Resources and Services Administration set a goal for hospitals: a 75 percent organ donation rate from eligible donors.  Four years ago, 55 of them had hit that target. Now close to 400 hospitals have reached it -- 44 of them are in California. 

Duke: Organ donation has gone up significantly across the country.

Dr. Elizabeth Duke is the Administrator of the federal agency. She says they launched a major program aimed at increasing donation rates by studying best practices at hospitals. But she says the need for organs grows at a faster pace than even their best efforts:

Duke: We still lose today about 19 people a day who die because there was not an organ available to transplant.

Duke says a few years ago, the total number of organ donations was around 19,000. Last year it was close to 30,000.