Young introduces bill to strengthen tracking of organ donations

U.S. Sen. Todd Young (R-IN) unveiled bipartisan legislation last week that would improve the organ donation system by helping to prevent vital organs from getting lost in transport.

“One lost organ is one too many,” said Sen. Young. “With more than 112,000 Americans on a transplant waitlist, including nearly 1,300 Hoosiers, we must ensure lifesaving organs are getting to the patients who need them.”

Young introduced the Lost Opportunities to Supply Transplantable Organs (LOST Organs) Act, S. 3317, on Feb. 13 with original cosponsors U.S. Sens. Ben Cardin (D-MD) and Chris Van Hollen (D-MD).

The bill would require the United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS), the organization that manages the U.S. organ donation system, to better track organs and report when errors result in a lost, damaged or delayed organ. When organ deliveries are compromised, an open and transparent process would be implemented to determine the cause and what corrective action should be taken, according to information from the senator’s office.

“The LOST Organs Act will create greater transparency and accountability so that these critical organs aren’t getting lost, damaged, or delayed in transit,” said Sen. Young, who also introduced legislation in 2019 to reform the nation’s organ transplant system.

According to data from Kaiser Health News and Reveal, approximately 7 percent of shipments handled by UNOS from July 2014 to November 2019 encountered transportation problems, the senator’s office noted. An investigation found that organs were tracked with phone calls and paper records and no electronic tracking devices.

“While thousands of lives in America are saved through transplants annually, we must do a better job for patients and their families to ensure organs are delivered in a timely and safe manner,” added Sen. Cardin.