Progress in transplantation (Aliso Viejo, Calif.) vol:16 issue:1 pages:46-51
CONTEXT: The shortage of donor organs remains the most important factor of waiting list mortality in organ transplantation worldwide. Donor detection is influenced by the legal system, family refusal, and underreporting caused by erroneous knowledge of donation criteria and lack of familiarity with the procedure. OBJECTIVE: To identify possible key factors of donor referral patterns within an existing cooperation with donor hospitals and donor units across the Dutch-speaking part of Belgium, an area of approximately 3 million inhabitants. An intervention plan to optimize the cooperation and procedure quality and efficiency was designed. DESIGN: The intervention plan was based on 3 essential principles in donor referral by donor reporters, information on donor criteria, facilitation of the donor procedure, and communication between donor reporters and the transplant center. The interventions were structured to optimize all 3 of these principles. Two successive periods of 4 years were retrospectively compared. PARTICIPANTS: Data were collected retrospectively on donor referral behavior from a total of 37 donor hospitals and donor units over an 8-year period. Main OUTCOME MEASURES: The referrals were reviewed for potential donors, effective donors, percentage of effective donors, refusal rate of relatives, number of tissue donors, impact on local and national transplant programs, and national donor numbers. RESULTS: Data showed a significant positive impact on donor referrals and donor referral behavior (+27% potential donors, +30% effective donors, +172.7% tissue donors, -7% family refusals rates, +9.63% national donors). The results stress the importance of reduced workload and optimization of communication and information availability in an existing donor hospital network.