Unusual Course of Organ Donation Registry Numbers in China

Overview: Publicly Accessible Numbers of Registered Organ Donors in China

January 15, 2017

On April 2, 2014, the Red Cross Society of China (RCSC) organ donation registry (www.china-organdonation.org) went online. Periodically, the website of the Organ Donation Administrative Center publishes the total numbers of registered organ donors, organ donations and transplants. The very first numbers were dated on April 7, 2014 with 21,731 registered organ donors, 1,622 organ donations and 4,413 transplants. According to the deputy director of the RCSC Organ Donation Administrative Center, the data covers the period starting from March 2010, when the donation trial program started. This claim has not been verified. DAFOH has monitored the numbers published on the website for 18 months between summer 2015 and end of 2016. The counters on the website appear to be not updated on a regular, fixed schedule. They usually stay unchanged for a couple of weeks before a new set of numbers show up suggesting that these counters are manually updated.

This chart shows the course of data over 18 months and includes data from registered organ donors, persons who actually donated organs and the numbers of performed transplants. The actual numbers that were monitored and recorded from the website of the Organ Donation Administrative Center are compiled in this table.

The only occurrence when the data was updated within two consecutive days was on December 30, 2015 and December 31, 2015. The significant change on December 31, 2015 was that exactly 25,000 registered organ donors were added within one daya number ending with a triple zero.

Further monitoring of the website saw a second sudden increase of more than 88,830 registered organ donors within six days in December 2016.

By the end of 2016, China had about 200,000 registered organ donors. It is noteworthy that according to these official numbers more than 110,000 (55%) of them were added in only 7 days over the four years of operation of the organ donation system, prompting questions over the authenticity of these numbers.




Background info:

March 2010: Donation trial program started in 10 selected provinces

2/25/2013: Official start of the nationwide donation program

3/19/2014: National Health and Family Planning Commission and District 3450 of Rotary International established a national electronic donor registry www.savelife.org.cn. There is no counter on this site.

4/2/2014: RCSC Organ Donation website went online www.china-organdonation.org. This website has the counters.