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J Trauma. 2007 Jun;62(6):1411-4; discussion 1414-5.

Improving consent rates for organ donation: the effect of an inhouse coordinator program.

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  • 1Department of Surgery, Division of Trauma and Critical Care, University of Southern California Keck School of Medicine, Los Angeles, CA, USA.



The inability to obtain consent remains one of the major obstacles to organ donation. The presence of in-house coordinators (IHCs) from organ procurement organizations (OPOs) might substantially improve donation rates.


To review the preliminary results of the effect of the presence of an IHC on organ donation rates at our center.


This is a retrospective analysis of patients referred to the regional OPO for possible organ donation. An IHC program was started at our hospital in late 2001. Data regarding organ donation demographics and family consent rates were compared before (Pre-IHC, 1998-2001) and after (Post-IHC, 2002-2005) the institution of an IHC program. The conversion rate was calculated as the number of actual donors divided by the number of potential donors and is represented as a percentage. The function of the IHC was to assist in donor surveillance, ensure timely referral, provide hospital staff education, assist with family consent and donor management, and provide family support.


There were a total of 495 potential donors and 195 actual donors during the 8-year time period. Post-IHC was associated with a significantly higher consent rate (52% vs. 35%, p < 0.01), a significantly higher conversion rate (50% vs. 34%, p < 0.01), and a 17% increase in organs donated compared with Pre-IHC.


The presence of an IHC program significantly improves consent and conversion rates for organ donation. An IHC program should be considered as a viable option to bridge the gap between organ supply and organ demand.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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