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Stand-alone facility for organ retrieval is more efficient, less costly than hospital
Date:2/24/2014

Retrieving organs from brain-dead donors is logistically challenging and time consuming in hospitals. Multiple surgical teams often fly to a donor's hospital but frequently face delays in retrieving organs due to crowded operating-room schedules.

However, a new study shows that moving organ donors from hospitals to a regional stand-alone facility with a designated operating room for retrieving organs is more efficient and lowers costs considerably, according to new research by transplant surgeons at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis.

The research is published Feb. 25 in the American Journal of Transplantation.

"The magnitude of these changes has been transformative, with no negative effects on the organ donation process," said the study's first author, M.B. Majella Doyle, MD, a Washington University liver transplant surgeon at Barnes-Jewish Hospital, who also directs the adult liver transplant program. "This approach of moving organ donors to a free-standing organ recovery center is one that we believe has great merit and could be implemented more broadly."

Historically, transplant teams have traveled to donors' hospitals, often at night, when operating rooms are more likely to be available, to perform time-sensitive surgeries. And typically they are assisted by local staff who are not always familiar with organ donation procedures.

To improve the organ donation process, Mid-America Transplant Services in 2001 built the nation's first stand-alone organ retrieval facility in St. Louis, a few miles from transplant centers at Washington University School of Medicine and Saint Louis University. The nonprofit organization coordinates organ donations and retrievals for eastern Missouri, southern Illinois and northeast Arkansas.

After patients are declared brain dead and families consent to organ donation, donors in areas covered by Mid-America Transplant are transported to the stand-
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Contact: Judy Martin
martinju@wustl.edu
314-286-0105
Washington University School of Medicine
Source:Eurekalert  

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