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Siminoff LA , Gardiner HM , Wilson-Genderson M , Shafer TJ
How Inaccurate Metrics Hide the True Potential for Organ Donation in the United States
Prog Transplant. 2018 Mar;28(1) :12-18
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BACKGROUND: There is a discrepancy between the reported increase in donor conversion rates and the number of organs available for transplant. METHODS: Secondary analysis of data obtained from the Scientific Registry of Transplant Recipients from January 2003 through December 2015 was performed. The primary outcomes were the (1) number of brain-dead donors from whom solid organs were recovered and (2) number of the organs transplanted. Descriptive statistics and growth plots were used to examine the trajectory of organ donation, recovery, and transplantation outcomes over the 11-year period. RESULTS: From 2003 to 2006, the number of brain-dead donors increased from 6187 to 7375, remaining relatively stable at approximately 7200 thereafter. The average eligible deaths per organ procurement organization dropped from 182.7 (standard deviation [SD]: 131.3) in 2003 to 149.3 (SD: 111.4) in 2015. This suggests a total of 12 493 unrealized potential donors (2006-2015). CONCLUSIONS: Since 2006, a steady decline in the number of donor-eligible deaths was reported. In 2003, the reported eligible deaths was 11 326. This number peaked in 2004 at 11 346, tumbling to 9781 eligible donors in 2015, despite a 9% increase in the US population. From 2006 to 2015, the data indicate an artificial depression and underestimation of the true potential of brain-dead donors in the United States of conservatively 12 493 donors or 39 728 missing organs. New metrics providing objective but verifiable counts of the donor pool are needed.
Siminoff, Laura A Gardiner, Heather M Wilson-Genderson, Maureen Shafer, Teresa J Journal Article United States Prog Transplant. 2018 Mar;28(1):12-18. doi: 10.1177/1526924818757939.