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
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
In 2019, the lives of nearly 40,000 Americans were
saved by organ donation.
In 2019, nearly 7,400 living donors gave the gift
One donor can save up to 8 lives through organ donation
and save and heal more than 200 lives through
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
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.