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The Reward Is Worth the Wait: A Prospective Analysis of 100 Consecutive Organ Donors

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Aggressive donor management protocols have evolved to maximize the number of procured organs. Our study assessed donor management time and the number and types of organs procured with the hypothesis that shorter management time yields increased organ procurement and transplant rates. We prospectively analyzed 100 donors managed by a regional organ procurement organization (OPO) during 2007 to 2008. Data included patient demographics, number and types of organs procured and transplanted, patient management time by the OPO, and achievement of donor preprocurement goals. One hundred consecutive organ donors were managed with a mean age 41 ± 18 years and mean management time 23 ± 9 hours; 376 organs were procured and 327 successfully transplanted. Donors managed greater than 20 hours yielded significantly more heart (5 vs 26, P < 0.01) and lung (6 vs 40, P < 0.01) procurements, more organs procured per donor (3.2 ± 1.4 vs 4.2 ± 1.6, P < 0.01), and more organs transplanted per donor (2.6 ± 1.5 vs 3.7 ± 1.8, P < 0.01) than those managed 20 hours or less. No difference in the attainment of donor management goals was observed between these populations. Contrary to our initial hypothesis, donor management times greater than 20 hours yielded increased organ procurement and transplant rates, particularly for hearts and lungs, despite no differences in the achievement of donor preprocurement management goals.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: The F.H. ‘‘Sammy’’ Ross, Jr. Trauma Center, Department of Surgery, Carolinas Medical Center, Charlotte, North Carolina, USA 2: LifeShare of the Carolinas, Charlotte, North Carolina, USA 3: University of South Carolina School of Medicine, Columbia, South Carolina, USA 4: University of North Carolina School of Medicine, Chapel Hill, North Carolina, USA 5: East Carolina University Brody School of Medicine, Greenville, North Carolina, USA

Publication date: March 1, 2012

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  • The Southeastern Surgical Congress owns and publishes The American Surgeon monthly. It is the official journal of the Congress and the Southern California Chapter of the American College of Surgeons, which all members receive each month. The journal brings up to date clinical advances in surgical knowledge in a popular reference format. In addition to publishing papers presented at the annual meetings of the associated organizations, the journal publishes selected unsolicited manuscripts. If you have a manuscript you'd like to see published in The American Surgeon select "Information for Authors" from the Related Information options below. A Copyright Release Form must accompany all manuscripts submitted.
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