Half of Iowans organ donors


The Iowa Donor Network reports over 1.5 million

Iowans have signed up to be organ donors. That’s

1,532,495 at last count. Many of these potential

donors signed up when they renewed their driver’s

licenses or signed their license for the first time in


Driver’s education is one way the Network reaches

Iowans early in life. IDN staff and volunteers talk to

students at age 14 and 15 years old about how they

can register and the importance of registering. Over

100 volunteers actively take the message to the public,

setting up events, reaching newspapers, radio stations,

those things to help promote organ donation.

The Network advises people shouldn’t rule themselves

out due to medical history or age. Iowans

should register regardless of age and medical history

because each year, the Network has had donors over

100 years old and numerous donors aged 80 and


Despite the impressive records, the Network believes

it’s important to build on the momentum so

that they can find a donor organ for everyone who

needs one.

IDN is taking action during the COVID-19 pandemic

to ensure donation services continue without


“Through this unusual time, our focus remains on

our donors, donor families, and those waiting for

much needed transplants,” IDN said in a statement.

All IDN events have been postponed or moved to

a virtual format, like so many events throughout the

nation and beyond. IDN has an events page and Facebook

where it will list the most up to date information

about its events.

Registration involves simply going to the driver’s

license station to renew a license or get it for the first

time, or indicate on a state ID for non-drivers by

marking “yes.” On new licenses it appears as a heart

icon. The Network said it’s also vital to let family

members and loved ones know and understand your


Every 10 minutes a new person is added to the national

organ transplant waiting list.

An average of 20 people die each day while waiting.

On average, 92 transplants take place everyday in

the U.S.

In 2019, the lives of nearly 40,000 Americans were

saved by organ donation.

In 2019, nearly 7,400 living donors gave the gift

of life.

One donor can save up to 8 lives through organ donation

and save and heal more than 200 lives through

tissue donation.

Every driver’s education class in Iowa must have

one educational session on organ, tissue and eye donation

for their students.

In 2020, Iowa had 95 organ donors, transplanted

285 organs and collected tissue from 821 donors.

The IDN manages the Iowa Donor registry, supports

and honors donor families, and educates professional

partners about the donation process, among

other functions.

The IDN also provides follow-up care to the families

of organ and tissue donors, including a phone

call, a follow-up letter, and follow-up care.

We feel organ donation is vital to honoring life in

our state, and we’re proud of the success of the IDN

in connecting donors with recipients to provide hope

and a second chance.


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