Kansas City organ donation at ‘crisis' level

Posted at 5:13 PM, Jan 05, 2017
and last updated 2017-01-07 20:51:50-05

More than 800 people are on a Kansas City metro hospital wait list for life-saving organ transplants. Roughly 50 of those on average each year do not live to receive the organ.

“I would describe it as a crisis actually,” said St. Luke’s Hospital’s liver transplant director Dr. Eddie Island.

A new person is added to an organ wait list every 10 minutes nationally, but only 48 percent of U.S. adults have signed up to be a donor. The supply is increasingly not meeting the need.

Graph courtesy

Dr. Island said society becoming safer is one reason for the disparity.

“Cars have become more safe, helmet laws have been passed,” said Dr. Island. “The consequence of this means there are fewer people that come to organ donation, which means there’s a greater need for people who are waiting for the organs on the transplant side.”

Kansas and Missouri donors outperform the national signup percentage.65% of adults in Kansas and 73% of adults in Missouri are registered.

You can become an organ donor at




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