Organ donation and utilization in the USA

Akinlolu O Ojo, Dennis Heinrichs, Jean C Emond, Joshua J McGowan, Mary K Guidinger, Francis L Delmonico, Robert A Metzger
American Journal of Transplantation 2004, 4 Suppl 9: 27-37
The processes leading to donor identification, consent, organ procurement, and allocation continue to dominate debates and efforts in the field of transplantation. A considerable shortage of donors remains while the number of patients needing organ transplantation increases. This article reviews the main trends in organ donation practices and procurement patterns from both deceased and living sources in the USA. Although there have been increases in living donation in recent years, 2002 witnessed a much more modest growth of 1%. Absolute declines in living liver and lung donation were also noted in 2002. In 2002, the number of deceased donors increased by only 1.6% (101 donors). Increased donation from deceased donors provides more organs for transplantation than a comparable increase in living donation, because on average 3.6 organs are recovered from each deceased donor. The total number of organs recovered from deceased donors increased by 2.1% (462 organs). Poor organ quality continued to be the major reason given for nonrecovery of consented organs from deceased donors. The kidney is the organ most likely to be discarded after recovery. Over the past decade the discard rate of recovered kidneys has increased from 6% to 11%. Many of these are expanded criteria donor kidneys.

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