Improving consent rates for organ donation: The effect of an inhouse coordinator program

Ali Salim, Carlos Brown, Kenji Inaba, Angela Mascarenhas, Pantelis Hadjizacharia, Peter Rhee, Howard Belzberg, Demetrios Demetriades

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

53 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND: The inability to obtain consent remains one of the major obstacles to organ donation. The presence of in-house coordinators (IHCs) from organ procurement organizations (OPOs) might substantially improve donation rates. OBJECTIVE: To review the preliminary results of the effect of the presence of an IHC on organ donation rates at our center. METHODS: This is a retrospective analysis of patients referred to the regional OPO for possible organ donation. An IHC program was started at our hospital in late 2001. Data regarding organ donation demographics and family consent rates were compared before (Pre-IHC, 1998-2001) and after (Post-IHC, 2002-2005) the institution of an IHC program. The conversion rate was calculated as the number of actual donors divided by the number of potential donors and is represented as a percentage. The function of the IHC was to assist in donor surveillance, ensure timely referral, provide hospital staff education, assist with family consent and donor management, and provide family support. RESULTS: There were a total of 495 potential donors and 195 actual donors during the 8-year time period. Post-IHC was associated with a significantly higher consent rate (52% vs. 35%, p < 0.01), a significantly higher conversion rate (50% vs. 34%, p < 0.01), and a 17% increase in organs donated compared with Pre-IHC. CONCLUSION: The presence of an IHC program significantly improves consent and conversion rates for organ donation. An IHC program should be considered as a viable option to bridge the gap between organ supply and organ demand.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1411-1414
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Trauma - Injury, Infection and Critical Care
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2007
Externally publishedYes


  • Donor management
  • In-house coordinator
  • Organ donor
  • Transplantation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine


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