OneLegacy, a nonprofit, federally designated organ, eye and tissue recovery organization serving the Southland, announced Tuesday that it led the nation in the recovery and transplantation of lifesaving organs in 2014.

OneLegacy said it recovered 1,282 organs from 418 organ donors, and enabled more than 100,000 tissue transplants from 1,868 cornea, bone, skin, heart valve, and vessel donors.

The organization collaborated last year with the 220 hospitals and 11 transplant centers it serves to maintain its transplant status.

The 2014 results were achieved in the face of improved safety measures and quality emergency care throughout the region that have dramatically reduced death rates and opportunities to donate, according to the organization.

“We wish to acknowledge first the generous donors and their families who made the decision to save and heal lives through organ, eye and tissue donation,” said Tom Mone, chief executive officer of OneLegacy. “Some of these decisions were made prior to donation by those who signed up months or years ago on the state registry.

“For those who might not have been aware of the opportunity to donate, we thank our hospital partners who have helped families to recognize that they can give greater meaning to lives cut short through the generous act of organ eye and tissue donation,” Mone said.

He said the organization is also “working closely with our regional transplant programs to develop innovative and proven organ recovery, preservation and acceptance practices to broaden organ acceptance and transplant criteria with successful outcomes.”

About 71 percent of those who can donate organs at the time of their death actually do so, and nearly 40 percent of organ, eye and tissue donors recovered through OneLegacy’s stewardship were authorized by the Donate Life California Organ and Tissue Donor Registry, which counts more than 11.5 million registered donors statewide.

With more than 22,000 Californians on transplant waiting lists, and thousands more requiring tissue and corneas, OneLegacy urges everyone to sign up to become donors at www.donateLIFEcalifornia.org or www.doneVIDAcalifornia.org.

Those wishing to donate can also sign up by checking the box that reads “Yes, I want to be a donor” when renewing California driving licenses or identification cards.

City  News Service

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