Background Heart transplant remains the definitive therapy for advanced heart failure patients but is limited by organ availability. We identified a large number of donor hearts from our organ procurement organization (OPO) being exported to other regions. Methods We engaged a multidisciplinary team including transplant surgeons, cardiologists, and our OPO colleagues to identify opportunities to improve our center-specific organ utilization rate. We performed a retrospective analysis of donor offers before and after institution of a novel review process. Results Each donor offer made to our program was reviewed on a monthly basis from July 2013 to June 2014 and compared with the previous year. This review process resulted in a transplant utilization rate of 28% for period 1 versus 49% for period 2 (P =.007). Limiting the analysis to offers from our local OPO changed our utilization rate from 46% to 75% (P =.02). Transplant volume increased from 22 to 35 between the 2 study periods. Thirty-day and 1-year mortality were unchanged over the 2 periods. A total of 58 hearts were refused by our center and transplanted at other centers. During period 1, the 30-day and 1-year survival rates for recipients of those organs were 98% and 90%, respectively, comparable with our historical survival data. Conclusions The simple process of systematically reviewing donor turndown events as a group tended to reduce variability, increase confidence in expanded criteria for donors, and resulted in improved donor organ utilization and transplant volumes.
Smith, J. W., O’Brien, K. D., Dardas, T., Pal, J. D., Fishbein, D. P., Levy, W. C., … Mokadam, N. A. (2016). Systematic donor selection review process improves cardiac transplant volumes and outcomes. In Journal of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery (Vol. 151, pp. 238–243). Mosby Inc. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jtcvs.2015.08.081