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    A Look at California Organ Procurement Organization Recovery Rates

    by William Bry, M.D., surgical director, Kidney Transplant Program, and Laura Miyashita

    The distribution of kidneys from deceased donors in California is overseen by four organ procurement organizations (OPOs). The federal government designates these OPOs to serve as the link between organ and tissue donors and individuals awaiting transplant.

    The OPOs that serve California residents are divided into four regions. They include

    • California Transplant Donor Network (Northern California and Nevada)

    • Golden State Donor Services (North & Central California)

    • Life Sharing Community Organ Donation (Imperial, San Diego counties)

    • One Legacy (Southern California)
    Each OPO coordinates organ and tissue recovery and distribution, and educates health care professionals and the public about the importance of organ and tissue donation and the success of transplantation. OPO staff also work with hospital personnel in their region to offer the option of donation to families whose loved ones have died.

    Organ Recovery Rates

    In Northern California, California Transplant Donor Network (CTDN) is the largest OPO. In 2010, CTDN recovered 444 kidneys for transplant. In comparison, Golden State OPO recovered 94 kidneys in the same period.

    "Individuals waiting for a kidney transplant are entitled to get on the wait list at transplant centers in different OPOs," says William Bry, M.D., surgical director of California Pacific's Kidney Transplant Program. He adds, "Patients who are considered hard to match, such as re-transplant patients or individuals with high antibodies (high PRA) may benefit from being on wait lists at transplant centers in different OPOs, because they will be matched with donors in both regions."

    Overview of Northern California OPOs
    Service area includes:California Transplant Donor NetworkGolden State Donor Services
    Hospitals17530
    Transplant CentersCalifornia Pacific Medical Center
    Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital
    Stanford Hospital
    UCSF Medical Center
    Sutter Sacramento
    UC Davis Medical Center
    Counties4111
    Individuals11 million2.5 million
    Kidneys recovered for transplant in 201044494

    article published in Fall / Winter 2011Kidney Review newsletter