Unit 2: Timely Referral


Purpose and Overview

To recognize the critical importance of making timely referrals to start the collaborative process with CORE.

Successful organ and tissue donation is time-dependent in many ways. First, hospital staff must identify and refer potential donors as early as possible. Next, donor families need to be contacted by OPO staff in a sensitive, yet timely manner when appropriate. Finally, the viability of potential donor organs and tissues needs to be quickly assessed by OPO staff.  Delays at any stage can affect the relationship between the hospital and the OPO, as well as the potential for recovering organs and tissues for transplantation.


At the end of this unit you should be able to understand and communicate:

  1. Clinical triggers of imminent and actual death
  2. The obligation of hospital staff to call in referrals within 60 minutes of meeting clinical triggers
  3. The role of the OPO in determining preliminary donor suitability