Expedited organ donation in Victoria, Australia: Donor characteristics and donation outcomes

Rohit L. D’Costa, Samuel Radford, Helen I. Opdam, Mark McDonald, Leanne McEvoy, Rinaldo Bellomo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Deceased organ donation work-up typically takes 24 hours or more. Clinicians may thus discount the possibility of donation when the potential donor is physiologically unstable or family requirements do not allow this length of time. This may lead to loss of transplantable organs. In 2015, we introduced an expedited work-up guideline with the aim of facilitating donation in these circumstances and maximising donation potential. Objective: To determine the number of expedited work-up (consent to retrieval procedure of 6 hours or less) donors from 2015 to 2018, compare their clinical and demographic characteristics with standard donors, and assess the outcome of transplanted organs and organ recipients. Design: We performed a retrospective audit of the electronic database for all Victorian donors from 2015 to 2018. We obtained transplant outcome data from the Australia and New Zealand Dialysis and Transplant Registry (ANZDATA). Results: Overall, 38 expedited pathway donors donated 78 organs for transplantation (70 kidneys, four lungs, three livers, one pancreas). Of these, 55 retrieved kidneys were successfully transplanted. The lungs, livers and pancreas retrieved were all transplanted. For the kidney recipients, early graft dysfunction requiring dialysis was more common than with organs from the standard pathway (71% v 38%; P < 0.0001); however, short and medium term graft and patient survival were similar. Three recipients from the expedited pool experienced graft failure and two subsequently died. Of the two lung recipients, one died at day 622 of chronic rejection. Conclusions: Expedited pathway donation is feasible with acceptable donation outcomes. Clinicians should consider donation even when physiological instability or family requirements preclude standard organ donation work-up times.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)303-311
Number of pages9
JournalCritical Care and Resuscitation
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2020
Externally publishedYes

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