What Is an Organ Procurement Organization?

Jul 13, 2023 | Organ Procurement

According to the American Transplant Foundation, more than 104,00 people are currently on the waiting list for organ transplants. An organ procurement organization — also known as an OPO — is a community-based, non-profit organization that focuses on recovering organs for transplantation and finding potential donor matches.

OPOs also help donor families and patients waiting for transplants through the organ donation process, including providing support, education, and advocacy. 

Are you still asking yourself, “What is an organ procurement organization?” Read on to learn about the advantages of working with these organizations.

Advantages of Organ Procurement Organizations

When recovering organs from a deceased donor, the organ procurement organization performs testing in hopes of finding matches for transplants. Working with an organ procurement organization can offer a more streamlined process for healthcare facilities and hospitals

Let’s explore the many advantages of working with an OPO.

Help From an Organ Procurement Coordinator

An organ procurement coordinator is an employee of an organ procurement organization. A coordinator works alongside the medical team to identify potential donors and perform testing. They also help donor families and patients manage the organ transplant process from beginning to end.

Support Through the Grieving Process

Losing a loved one is a difficult and sensitive time for friends and families of the deceased. An organ procurement coordinator is there for donor families every step of the way by answering questions and easing concerns.

Advocacy for Donors, Patients, and Loved Ones

The best interest of the patient and their loved ones is always top of mind for organ procurement coordinators. Waiting for organ transplants can be a long and tedious process. The organ procurement coordinator works diligently to find potential matches and help accelerate the transplant process. 

Education About Organ Transplants

Did you know a single organ donor can save up to eight lives? Coordinators take on the role of educating the public about the life-saving benefits of becoming an organ donor. They may also provide workshops for medical staff about organ transplantation, including how it works, how to register, and any other specific information health professionals need to know.

Access to Specialized Care in the Community

The United States has 57 organ procurement organizations, which means there is one in every region of the country. Coordinators work directly with local hospitals and medical facilities to organize testing and schedule appointments. Organ procurement organizations may even provide transportation for patients and their families. 

Staying close to home can be comforting for patients waiting for transplants. Organ procurement organizations strive to help make the transplantation process as seamless as possible.

The Role of Organ Procurement Organizations in Healthcare

What is an organ procurement organization? OPOs are responsible for reviewing donor potential, collecting clinical data, and abiding by national policies for finding organ donations for those in need. These organizations make it possible for people to receive life-saving organ transplants. Organ donation and transplants are vital parts of the healthcare system.

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