The COVID-19 pandemic caused a decline in transplants and donations during March and April of 2020, but that didn't stop Tennessee from breaking records.
Tennessee Donor Services said that there were 390 organ donors and 1,116 organ transplants in the state last year. It set an all-time high in the service area, officials said. They also said 31,963 tissue grafts were recovered — another new record.
"We are grateful for the decisions Tennesseans make daily to register as organ and tissue donors in order to help others," said Jill Grandas, the Executive Director of TDS. "Over 1,000 people across the country are alive today because of an organ transplant — countless others' health improved through the gift of tissue donation."
The organization partnered with 153 hospitals and six transplant centers across the state, serving more than 5.8 million people.
Despite the record-breaking number of volunteers, more people are in need of transplants, officials said. Over 108,000 people are on the national organ transplant waiting list, and over 3,000 are on the Tennessee waiting list.