PA sees decline in number of organ donors
Through the 1990s and into the 2000s, as public awareness about the need for organ transplants grew, the number of people who became donors - living and deceased - increased by several hundred each year. In the last four years, however, that number has leveled off. Last year, total donors were down slightly nationwide. Locally, there was a bigger drop. Pennsylvania saw a 6.6% decline in the number of people who were organ donors last year, while New Jersey's number fell 7.9%, according to data collected by the United Network for Organ Sharing, a federal contractor that manages the U.S. transplant system. The Gift of Life Donor Program, which oversees organ donation in eastern Pennsylvania, South Jersey, and Delaware, saw its total donors drop from 429 in 2009 to 392 in 2010, or 8.6%. Experts say it may be too early to tell the exact cause. But the poor economy and advances in care probably played a role.
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