Record number of lives impacted from Arkansas organ donors in 2021

Around Arkansas

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — ARORA, the largest organ recovery agency in Arkansas, announced in a Friday, Dec. 10 news release it has recovered more organs in 2021 than any year in its 30-year history.

According to ARORA, there have been 101 organ donors and 300 organs transplanted as of December 13, which is a significant increase from 2020, and double from what it was in 2017.

Those involved at the agency credit Arkansans’ willingness to help others and their generosity, as well as ARORA’s own staff and their partners in and outside of the medical community.

The hundreds of lives saved, and thousands of lives restored through these gifts and recoveries — the human impact, their relief, their joy — is almost unimaginable. Thank you for the care and service you have given to families who lost loved ones and who made these precious gifts possible. This year has continued to be a tumultuous and challenging time in Arkansas health care, but like so many Arkansas health care heroes, you adapted and made the changes necessary to make organ donation successful.

Governor Asa Hutchinson

Many organs recovered by ARORA stay in Arkansas, as there are three transplant centers: University of Arkansas Medical School, Arkansas Children’s and Baptist Health.

UAMS, in particular, has increased capacity in organ donations and is aiding in the state’s uptick of donations.

“I believe that the partnership between ARORA and UAMS is stronger than ever, and we are now seeing the effects of the intentional steps we have taken to streamline the donation process and maximize our opportunity to provide these life-saving gifts,” David Warner, M.D. of Arkansas Lions Eye Bank at the UAMS Jones Eye Institute.

ARORA and UAMS have collaborated to create a centralized donor management system located at UAMS, which allows ARORA to transfer authorized organ donors from hospitals across the state to a central facility. It is then able to have immediate access to experts in donor management and be able to complete necessary testing quickly, the release said.

Warner also thanked front-line personnel, especially those who have been working during the pandemic, for their aid in completing these donations, which Arkansans continued to do even during the stressful times of 2020.

ARORA expects to see more lives saved before the end of the year on Dec. 31.

“In addition to organ and tissue recovery, ARORA provides support for donor families and recipients even years after donation, and the organization also works toward educating the community on donation, encouraging individuals to consider registering to become organ, tissue and eye donors. ARORA also has grown its staff to achieve increased coverage across Arkansas while stepping up education on donation through a statewide public information campaign to help raise awareness,” the release said.

Arkansans can register to become an organ and tissue donor when renewing your driver’s license at the DMV. You can also register online at www.arora.org/donatelife.

Copyright 2022 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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