News and Updates

National Pediatric Transplant Week April 23-27, 2018

Join us in celebrating a new observance during the last week of National Donate Life Month: National Pediatric Transplant Week.

National Pediatric Transplant Week grew from the question of a father whose young son is a heart recipient: Can we as a national Donate Life Community create a dedicated observance to raise awareness and help save the lives of children waiting for transplant?

National Pediatric Transplant Week offers donation and transplantation organizations the platform to talk about the powerful message of ending the pediatric waiting list, to engage clinical partners to share their innovative work and patient stories (candidates and recipients), and to honor donor families whose children have saved and healed lives through organ, eye and tissue donation.

National Pediatric Transplant Week gives pediatric donor and recipient families an opportunity to share their stories, encourage others to help save and heal lives by registering to be organ, eye and tissue donors and to learn more about becoming a living donor.

Donate Life America (DLA) would like to thank the United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS), the American Society of Transplantation (AST) and the American Society of Transplant Surgeons (ASTS) for their collaboration and support in piloting the first annual National Pediatric Transplant Week.

2018 National Pediatric Transplant Week statistics:

  • Currently, nearly 2,000 children under the age of 18 are on the national transplant waiting list. More than 500 of the children waiting for transplant are between 1 and 5 years old.
  • More than 1,800 children received transplants in 2017.
  • There were nearly 900 pediatric organ donors in 2017.
  • The donors ranged in age from newborn to age 17, most were between 11 and 17 years old.
  • In 2017, more than 120 pediatric organ donors were babies under the age of 12 months.
  • The size of the recipient’s body and the donor organ are taken into account when matching donors to recipients. Very small children most often receive donations from other young people – although older children and adults can also be a good match.
  • Sometimes, children can receive deceased or living donations of partial organs, like a portion of a liver.
  • Most children under the age of 1 year are waiting for a heart or a liver.
  • Most children age 1 to 5 years are waiting for a kidney, liver or heart.
  • Most children age 5 to 10 years are waiting for a kidney.
  • Most children age 11 to 17 years are primarily waiting for a kidney, followed by liver and heart.
  • More than 138 million people, approximately 56% of the U.S. adult population, are registered organ, eye and tissue donors.*
  • Pediatric donation: A parent or legal guardian must authorize the donation for anyone under the age of 18 years. 15-17 year olds may register their intent to be a donor; however, until they are 18 years old, a parent or legal guardian makes the final donation decision.
  • To register your decision to save and heal lives, visit To learn more about organ, eye, tissue and living donation, visit

For more information about National Pediatric Transplant Week and pediatric donation, please visit:

For more information about National Donate Life Month, please visit:

Living donation is not included in a donor registration.
Data from the Donate Life America Quarterly Donor Designation Report and the Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network (OPTN) as of March 19, 2018.