2003 News Stories

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There are over 81,000 people in America waiting for an organ, including approximately 300 in Hawai’i. Last year, organs were donated by only 6,617 donors out of an estimated 14,000 potential donors, or about 46 percent. As a result, an average of 17 people on the transplantation waiting list die every day.

In April 2003, Health and Human Services Secretary Tommy Thompson joined with key national leaders and practitioners to launch the Organ Donation Collaborative. The Collaborative is "committed to saving or enhancing thousands of lives a year by spreading known best practices to the nation's largest hospitals to achieve organ donation rates of 75 percent or higher in these hospitals." The Queen's Medical Center, along with Maui Memorial Hospital, will participate in the Organ Donation Collaborative.

Queen's goal is to achieve 100 percent identification (75 percent by April 2004) and the appropriate referral of imminent death to the Organ Donation Center of Hawai’i (ODCH). ODCH is the non-profit organization authorized by the federal government to coordinate the recovery of organs and tissue in Hawai’i.

Practices used by large hospitals and organ procurement organizations (OPOs) that have high donation rates (75 percent or more) are known and can be replicated. The Organ Donation Collaborative will help OPOs and hospitals achieve their goals.

Queen's has initiated staff education on imminent death status and patients who have indicated their wish to be organ donors. A "non-beating heart donor protocol" will also be established. Queen's will focus on two key areas-the ICUs and the ER. In addition, participating hospitals and OPOs will send multi-disciplinary teams to participate in intensive learning sessions and will work together to rapidly learn, adapt and redesign processes to reach the goal.

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