Historically Organ Allocation has been performed at donor’s bedsides throughout the country. In the last 10-15 years, many Organ Procurement Organizations (OPOs) have organized allocation centers where allocation may be done in a centralized area. However, most OPOs kept allocating thoracic organs at bedside. Two years ago, Life Alliance’s leadership decided to create an Organ Allocation Center to perform not only abdominal, but also thoracic allocation. This change allowed the Donor Management Coordinators to focus solely on managing donors and improving communication between the OPO and transplant centers. Performing allocation from a centralized location has improved organ placement times and increased the number of organs placed. Due to improved donor management, the OPO has been able to place 16.7 percent more transplanted organs.
The OAC was staffed with five new hires with clinical backgrounds when it began in February 2015. They were intensively trained for six weeks including Surgical Recovery Coordinators (SRC) and Donor Management Coordinators (DMC) shadowing, thoracic and abdominal Anatomy and Physiology lectures, Determination of quality of the heart/lungs via Echocardiogram, ABG results, EKG, CXR/CT, Bronchoscopy, UNOS/OPTN/CMS/OPO Policies and Procedures, and one month of extensive supervised allocation. Once proven to be fully trained, the department launched in April 2015.