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U.S. Government Information on Organ and Tissue Donation and Transplantation
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Allocation—The process of determining how organs are distributed.

Brain Death—Brain death occurs when the brain is totally and irreversibly non-functional. Brain death is caused by not enough blood supply of oxygen which causes the brain cells to die.

Candidate—A patient who has been placed on the National Waiting List for solid organ transplantation.

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The Gap Continues to Widen

Over the past two decades, the gap between the number of patients waiting for a transplant and the number receiving a transplant has continued to widen. The substantial difference between the number of donors and the number of patients waiting for a transplant is one factor that contributes to waiting time from listing to transplant. 

In 1988, there were 5,901 Donors, 12,618 Transplants, and 15,029 Waiting list
In 1989, there were 5,927 Donors, 13,140 Transplants, and 17,917 Waiting list
In 1990, there were 6,630 Donors, 15,001 Transplants, and 20,443 Waiting list
In 1991, there were 6,952 Donors, 15,756 Transplants, and 23,149 Waiting list
In 1992, there were 7,090 Donors, 16,133 Transplants, and 27,510 Waiting list
In 1993, there were 7,766 Donors, 17,630 Transplants, and 31,273 Waiting list
In 1994, there were 8,200 Donors, 18,297 Transplants, and 35,192 Waiting list
In 1995, there were 8,854 Donors, 19,393 Transplants, and 41,096 Waiting list
In 1996, there were 9,205 Donors, 19,747 Transplants, and 47,397 Waiting list
In 1997, there were 9,537 Donors, 20,304 Transplants, and 53,381 Waiting list
In 1998, there were 10,361 Donors, 21,517 Transplants, and 59,862 Waiting list
In 1999, there were 10,861 Donors, 22,016 Transplants, and 65,260 Waiting list
In 2000, there were 11,917 Donors, 23,248 Transplants, and 71,628 Waiting list
In 2001, there were 12,687 Donors, 24,218 Transplants, and 76,893 Waiting list
In 2002, there were 12,819 Donors, 24,907 Transplants, and 78,498 Waiting list
In 2003, there were 13,284 Donors, 25,467 Transplants, and 81,979 Waiting list
In 2004, there were 14,154 Donors, 27,035 Transplants, and 85,610 Waiting list
In 2005, there were 14,488 Donors, 28,108 Transplants, and 89,884 Waiting list
In 2006, there were 14,755 Donors, 28,930 Transplants, and 94,472 Waiting list
In 2007, there were 14,403 Donors, 28,358 Transplants, and 97,782 Waiting list
In 2008, there were 14,209 Donors, 27,966 Transplants, and 100,775 Waiting list
In 2009, there were 14,630 Donors, 28,463 Transplants, and 105,567 Waiting list


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