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The first successful adult human kidney transplant was performed in 1954. Over the past 57 years, many successful organ transplants have occurred. Transplants now involve every major organ. Transplantation of various organs, tissues, and cells (such as kidneys, hearts, lungs, livers, bone marrow, and others) are now possible in children. Survival is steadily increasing and successful transplants now lead to an improved quality of life.
According to the United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS), the following number of US transplants, by age group, were performed in 2010:
Number of US transplants by age group for 2010
|Younger than 1 year||86||1||135|
|1 to 5 years||66||133||170|
|6 to 10 years||42||119||65|
|11 to 17 years||98||365||103|
|18 to 34 years||190||1,804||299|
The Children's Health Act of 2000 was signed into law in October, 2000. With the number of children needing transplants increasing each year, the various organizations, as well as health care providers, are increasing the public's awareness of the need for organ donation. This Act addresses the needs of children who are suffering from end-stage organ disease.
Medical technology continues to improve and transplantation has become a life-saving procedure for many children with congenital or chronic conditions or diseases. Research studies continue to focus on preventing graft rejection and the development of new anti-rejection drugs and therapies that are less toxic and more effective. Scientists also continue to learn about the body's immune system, which contributes to a further understanding of transplantation and other immunologic diseases and conditions.