Free-standing organ recovery center improves efficiency, reduces costs

Transplant surgeons could save time and costs using a free-standing organ recovery center, according to a new study published in the American Journal of Transplantation. Transplant surgeons typically travel to donor hospitals, where they perform the complex, time-sensitive procedures. In 2001, Mid-America Transplant Services in St. Louis set up the nation's first free-standing organ recovery center, approximately two miles from both of the transplant centers in the organ procurement organization's service area. Researchers analyzed 915 liver transplants at the center based on procurement locations. They found use of the facility cut travel time from 8 to 2.7 hours, reduced surgeon fly outs by 93 percent and slashed organ recovery costs by 37 percent. They concluded that moving brain-dead organ donors to a free-standing organ recovery center has merit and could become a standard of care throughout the country. Study abstract