Organ shortage felt in North Dakota, around country

Organ transplants
Organ transplants(KFYR)
Published: Jan. 11, 2023 at 6:52 PM CST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

BISMARCK, N.D. (KFYR) - The first organ transplant success was a kidney in 1954. Since then, methods have continued to improve, and success stories have become more common. The United States even reached a major milestone last September: 1 million organ transplants. But more people than ever are still waiting for a life-saving transplant.

Transplants must be deemed a good match for a patient before surgery can occur. Doctors in North Dakota say the average waiting time for a transplant in our region is two to three years.

“During the COVID pandemic, we were really down because there were not enough organs, and people weren’t donating at the time. Now, we are picking up again,” said Dr. Nadim Koleilat, urology specialist and director of the transplant program at Sanford in Bismarck.

Doctors and scientists are hoping to ease the transplant shortage. Some scientists in a Minneapolis lab are working to bioengineer replacement organs. They’re currently trying to regrow pig livers to function like human livers. If the FDA agrees, additional experiments are set to take place later this year.