The impact of meeting donor management goals on the number of organs transplanted per expanded criteria donor: a prospective study from the UNOS Region 5 Donor Management Goals Workgroup

JAMA Surg. 2014 Sep;149(9):969-75. doi: 10.1001/jamasurg.2014.967.


Importance: The shortage of organs available for transplant has led to the use of expanded criteria donors (ECDs) to extend the donor pool. These donors are older and have more comorbidities and efforts to optimize the quality of their organs are needed.

Objective: To determine the impact of meeting a standardized set of critical care end points, or donor management goals (DMGs), on the number of organs transplanted per donor in ECDs.

Design, setting, and participants: Prospective interventional study from February 2010 to July 2013 of all ECDs managed by the 8 organ procurement organizations in the southwestern United States (United Network for Organ Sharing Region 5).

Interventions: Implementation of 9 DMGs as a checklist to guide the management of every ECD. The DMGs represented normal cardiovascular, pulmonary, renal, and endocrine end points. Meeting the DMG bundle was defined a priori as achieving any 7 of the 9 end points and was recorded at the time of referral to the organ procurement organization, at the time of authorization for donation, 12 to 18 hours later, and prior to organ recovery.

Main outcomes and measures: The primary outcome measure was 3 or more organs transplanted per donor and binary logistic regression was used to identify independent predictors with P < .05.

Results: There were 671 ECDs with a mean (SD) number of 2.1 (1.3) organs transplanted per donor. Ten percent of the ECDs had met the DMG bundle at referral, 15% at the time of authorization, 33% at 12 to 18 hours, and 45% prior to recovery. Forty-three percent had 3 or more organs transplanted per donor. Independent predictors of 3 or more organs transplanted per donor were older age (odds ratio [OR] = 0.95 per year [95% CI, 0.93-0.97]), increased creatinine level (OR = 0.73 per mg/dL [95% CI, 0.63-0.85]), DMGs met prior to organ recovery (OR = 1.90 [95% CI, 1.35-2.68]), and a change in the number of DMGs achieved from referral to organ recovery (OR = 1.11 per additional DMG [95% CI, 1.00-1.23]).

Conclusions and relevance: Meeting DMGs prior to organ recovery with ECDs is associated with achieving 3 or more organs transplanted per donor. An increase in the number of critical care end points achieved throughout the care of a potential donor by both donor hospital and organ procurement organization is also associated with an increase in organ yield.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Critical Care
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Organizational Objectives
  • Prospective Studies
  • Tissue Donors / statistics & numerical data*
  • Tissue and Organ Procurement / organization & administration*
  • Tissue and Organ Procurement / statistics & numerical data
  • United States