Aggressive organ donor management protocol

J Intensive Care Med. Nov-Dec 2008;23(6):367-75. doi: 10.1177/0885066608324208. Epub 2008 Sep 24.


As of August 2007, 96 900 people are awaiting organ transplantation in the United States, while only 28 930 transplants were performed in 2006. With such a large gap between organ need and organ availability, it is inevitable that many will die while awaiting transplantation. This organ shortage has become a national public health crisis, and as a response, the United States Department of Health and Human Services launched the Organ Donation Breakthrough Collaborative, an ambitious campaign to dramatically increase the number of transplantable organs. One of the suggested strategies involves maximizing the number of organs obtained from the available cadaveric "brain dead'' donor pool by using donor management protocols that optimize and treat the profound physiological disturbances that are associated with brain death. The use of these standardized and aggressive donor management protocols has been shown to increase the number of transplanted organs and prevent the number of donors lost due to medical failures. A protocol-driven approach by a dedicated organ donor management team should be considered a key component of any program designed to bridge the gap between organ supply and demand.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Brain Death / diagnosis
  • Brain Death / physiopathology*
  • Humans
  • Tissue Donors / statistics & numerical data*
  • Tissue and Organ Procurement / organization & administration*
  • Tissue and Organ Procurement / trends
  • Waiting Lists*