Organ Donor Awareness - Pediatric Transplantation

UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh has been at the forefront of pediatric transplantation for over 30 years. As the nation's first transplantation program, the Hillman Center for Pediatric Transplantation has performed more pediatric transplants than any other pediatric center. Our experience, expertise and an ongoing commitment to innovation and compassionate care are the reasons why. 

Almost 106,000 people are currently waiting for an organ transplant in the United States. In Pennsylvania alone, 7,700 residents are waiting for a donor. You have the power to save lives and improve the quality of life of those in need of a transplant. Learn more about organ donation from the resources below, and take that first step toward saving a life.

Learn more about organ donation at these links:

How Do I Become an Organ Donor?

DonateLife-PA is campaign to encourage Pennsylvania residents to say YES to organ donation. It only takes a minute to sign up today to become an organ donor.

Benefits of Organ Donation

Many potential donors would like to donate organs, but they are afraid of what will happen to them if they are in an accident, or they are confused about what will happen to their organs once they’re donated. The Center for Organ Recovery & Education (CORE) has answers dispelling the myths about organ donation.

Living-Donor Liver Transplants

In the 1990s, a procedure called living-donor liver transplantation was developed to help overcome the organ donor shortage and save lives. This procedure involves removing a portion of a healthy living donor’s liver to help an ill patient on the waiting list for a liver. It is becoming one of the most frequent options in children, partly because child-sized livers are in such short supply. Also children don't need as large a liver as adults, and it allows surgeons to use the smaller (left) part of the donor's liver.

Every year, the Hillman Center for Pediatric Transplantation at UPMC Children's Hospital and the Thomas E. Starzl Transplantation Institute honor living donors who have unselfishly given of themselves to save a life.

Learn more about living-donor liver transplants at the Hillman Center for Pediatric Transplantation.

View a video of a live-donor liver transplant surgery.

Organ Donation Facts

  • An average of 68 organ transplants are performed every day in the United States.
  • A single organ donor may save or enhance the lives of up to 75 people.
  • Approximately 28,000 patients begin new lives each year thanks to organ transplants.
  • A kidney, a portion of the liver, and bone marrow can each be transplanted from living donors.
  • About three-quarters of all live donors are relatives of their recipient, most commonly a brother or sister.
  • The number of unrelated donors has nearly tripled since 1998.
  • About 25 percent of all deceased donors in 2002 were at least 50 years old or older. One out of every 12 donors is over the age of 65.
  • An average of 18 patients die every day while waiting for a transplant, simply because the organ they needed did not become available in time.
  • On average, 106 people are added to the nation's organ transplant waiting list each day - one every 14 minutes.
  • People of all ages and medical histories should consider themselves potential donors. Your medical condition at the time of death will determine what organs and tissue can be donated. Even those who have received an organ transplant themselves may be an organ donor.
  • Almost 106,000 people are currently waiting for an organ transplant in the U.S. The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania alone has more than 7,700 residents awaiting transplantation.
  • You have the power to save lives and improve the quality of life of those in need of any form of transplant.

April is National Donor Awareness Month

Every April, the Transplant Services Team at UPMC Children's hosts several events to raise awareness about the importance of organ, eye, and tissue donation. Activities include a flag raising ceremony, participation in Blue & Green Day, a patient parade and much more.