Transplant surgeons have historically traveled to donor hospitals, performing complex, time-sensitive procedures with unfamiliar personnel. This often involves air travel, significant delays, and frequently occurs overnight. In 2001, we established the nation's first organ recovery center. The goal was to increase efficiency, reduce costs and reduce surgeon travel. Liver donors and recipients, donor costs, surgeon hours and travel time, from April 1, 2001 through December 31, 2011 were analyzed. Nine hundred and fifteen liver transplants performed at our center were analyzed based on procurement location (living donors and donation after cardiac death donors were excluded). In year 1, 36% (9/25) of donor procurements occurred at the organ procurement organization (OPO) facility, rising to 93% (56/60) in the last year of analysis. Travel time was reduced from 8 to 2.7 h (p < 0.0001), with a reduction of surgeon fly outs by 93% (14/15) in 2011. Liver organ donor charges generated by the donor were reduced by 37% overall for donors recovered at the OPO facility versus acute care hospital. Organs recovered in this novel facility resulted in significantly reduced surgeon hours, air travel and cost. This practice has major implications for cost containment and OPO national policy and could become the standard of care.
- Donor management and recovery
- OPO-based facility