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Minn. sets record number of heart transplants

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Thanks to more organ donors and newer technology, heart transplants in Minnesota increased 23 percent in 2012, setting a new state record.

Transplants conducted at Rochester's Mayo Clinic, Abbott Northwestern Hospital and the University of Minnesota Medical Center, Fairview contributed to the 80 procedures performed in the state last year.

Despite the new record, Dr. Richard Daly, surgical director of heart and lung transplant at Mayo, tells the Pioneer Press that there is still a much larger waiting list than the supply of organs and donors are in a high demand.

At least 157 patients in the region were waiting for hearts in January.

KARE 11 reports nearly 3,000 patients in Minnesota are waiting for a life-saving organ transplant.

Minnesotans can register to be an organ, eye and tissue donor by checking the box on their driver's license or state ID card, or online at www.DonateLifeMN.org.

An event held in St. Paul Thursday, Valentine's Day, also known as Congenital Heart Disease Awareness Day, honored donors and celebrated survivors.

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