The effect of trauma center designation on organ donor outcomes in Southern California

Ali Salim, Cherisse Berry, Eric J. Ley, Danielle Schulman, Marko Bukur, Daniel R. Margulies, Sonia Navarro, Darren Malinoski

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


We sought to investigate the effect of trauma center designation on organ donor outcomes during a 5-year period. A retrospective study of the southern California regional Organ Procurement Organization database comparing trauma centers (n = 25) versus nontrauma centers (n = 171) and Level I (n = 7) versus Level II (n = 18) trauma centers between 2004 and 2008 was performed. A total of 16,830 referrals were evaluated and 44 per cent were from trauma centers. When compared with nontrauma centers (n = 171), trauma centers (n = 25) had a higher percentage of medically suitable eligible deaths (29 vs 16%, P < 0.001), total eligible deaths (22 vs 12%, P < 0.001), and eligible donors (14 vs 7%, P < 0.001). Trauma Centers had a significantly higher number of organs procured per donor (4.0 ± 1.6 vs 3.5 ± 1.6, P < 0.001), organs transplanted per donor (OTPD) (3.6 ± 1.8 vs 2.8 ± 1.8, P < 0.001), and higher organ yield (per cent 4 or greater OTPD [48 vs 31%, P < 0.001]). No significant differences were found between Level I and Level II trauma centers. Trauma centers demonstrate significantly better organ donor outcomes compared with nontrauma centers. Factors responsible for improved outcomes at trauma centers should be evaluated, reproduced, and disseminated to nontrauma centers to alleviate the growing organ shortage crisis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)535-539
Number of pages5
JournalAmerican Surgeon
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2012
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


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