Iowa Donor Network sees fourth straight record-breaking year for organ donations

Local News

The Iowa Donor Network is celebrating another record year for organ donations in the state in 2021.

The Iowa Donor Network (IDN) recorded its fourth straight record-breaking year of organ donations in 2021, when 128 deceased Iowans donated 365 organs for transplant over the past year.

The number of organ donors has increased by 137% since 2017 and the number of organs transplanted has grown by 121%, according to IDN. There also was a record high of 984 tissue donors in 2021. According to the IDN, a single tissue donor can help 50-300 people.

“I am enormously humbled by the generosity of donor families who have enabled us to increase organ and tissue donation in Iowa for the fourth consecutive year,” said Suzanne Conrad, CEO of IDN. “I am also tremendously grateful to our healthcare partners and the dedicated Iowa Donor Network team members who make this lifesaving work possible each and every day. The dedication to mission is palpable and I am proud to be on this team.”

Breanne Ollom of West Des Moines spoke in a new Iowa Donor Network video (released in December 2021). Her husband, Yodi, died June 7, 2020 at 38 in a camping accident. They both signed up to be organ donors and his donated heart, kidneys and liver saved the lives of four people.

In 2021, 41,354 organ transplants were performed in the United States, an increase of 5.9 percent over 2020 and the first time the annual total exceeded 40,000, according to data from United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS), which serves as the Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network under federal contract.

The three organ types most commonly transplanted all set annual volume records. There were totals of 24,669 kidney transplants, 9,236 liver transplants and 3,817 heart transplants. Liver transplant totals have set annual records for the past nine years, and heart transplants have set a new record each of the past 10 years.

A total of 13,861 people became deceased organ donors nationwide in 2021, representing the 11th consecutive record year for deceased donation and an increase of 10.1 percent over 2020.

The IDN’s goal in 2022 is to recover at least 400 organs for transplant. Anyone can join the registry for organ donation. According to IDN, there are currently 583 Iowans on the waiting list for an organ transplant. To add yourself to the donor list, visit

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