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U.S. Government Information on Organ and Tissue Donation and Transplantation
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Risk Factors for Organ Failure

  • Obesity—Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
  • Diabetes—Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

Chronic Disease and Connection to Organ Failure

Organ Transplantation: The Process

In 1984, Congress passed the National Organ Transplant Act (NOTA), creating the Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network (OPTN) as the national organ matching and sharing system in the U.S., and charging the Secretary of Health and Human Services with oversight of this system.

The OPTN develops transplantation policies and maintains a computer system to match donor organs with recipients. It also collects data on all donors and transplant recipients, with direction from the donation and transplantation community, comments from the general public, and oversight from HHS.

The OPTN is administered under contract to HHS through its Health Resources and Services Administration’s Division of Transplantation. The OPTN contract is currently held by the United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS) which has been the contractor since 1986.

NOTA also authorized the creation of a Scientific Registry of Transplant Recipients to conduct ongoing research to study information about donors and transplant candidates and recipients. It also tracks all transplant patients from time of transplant through hospital discharge, and then annually until graft failure or death.


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