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The Effect of Trauma Center Designation on Organ Donor Outcomes in Southern California

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We sought to investigate the effect of trauma center designation on organ donor outcomes during a 5-year period. A retrospective study of the southern California regional Organ Procurement Organization database comparing trauma centers (n = 25) versus nontrauma centers (n = 171) and Level I (n = 7) versus Level II (n = 18) trauma centers between 2004 and 2008 was performed. A total of 16,830 referrals were evaluated and 44 per cent were from trauma centers. When compared with nontrauma centers (n = 171), trauma centers (n = 25) had a higher percentage of medically suitable eligible deaths (29 vs 16%, P < 0.001), total eligible deaths (22 vs 12%, P < 0.001), and eligible donors (14 vs 7%, P < 0.001). Trauma Centers had a significantly higher number of organs procured per donor (4.0 ± 1.6 vs 3.5 ± 1.6, P < 0.001), organs transplanted per donor (OTPD) (3.6 ± 1.8 vs 2.8 ± 1.8, P < 0.001), and higher organ yield (per cent 4 or greater OTPD [48 vs 31%, P < 0.001]). No significant differences were found between Level I and Level II trauma centers. Trauma centers demonstrate significantly better organ donor outcomes compared with nontrauma centers. Factors responsible for improved outcomes at trauma centers should be evaluated, reproduced, and disseminated to nontrauma centers to alleviate the growing organ shortage crisis.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Department of Surgery, Division of Trauma and Critical Care, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, Los Angeles, California, USA 2: OneLegacy Organ Procurement Organization, Los Angeles, California

Publication date: May 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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