Evaluation Process

A referral call may be made prior to brain death being declared, before family has been found, or to see if the patient is viable before approaching the next-of-kin for consent. As information is gathered, questions may arise regarding suitability. OPOs utilize their administrators, medical directors, and transplant surgeons for consults when such concerns surface. For example, if the donor's lab results that assess liver viability are elevated, a liver transplant surgeon is consulted. If the transplant surgeon voices no concern, that may be the only call the RSC makes at that time. However, if the transplant surgeon declines the patient as a potential donor, then several calls may be made to receive more opinions. The OPO procedure may require calls to all of its local transplant centers before officially declining a potential donor, which can result in multiple calls if several surgeons are called for each organ. After the surgeons are called, the OPO administrator and medical director of the OPO are called for the final determination regarding suitability of the potential donor. Because evaluation of similar potential donor situations may result differently due to the recipient needs of that particular day, this type of situation can result in confusion among hospital staff members.

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