Organ Procurement Organization – OPOs play a crucial role in ensuring that an immensely valuable, but scarce resource—transplantable human
organs—becomes available to seriously ill patients who are on a waiting list for an organ transplant. OPOs are responsible for identifying potential organ donors and for obtaining as many organs as possible from those donors. They are also responsible for ensuring that the organs they obtain are properly preserved and quickly delivered to a suitable recipient awaiting transplantation. Therefore, OPO performance is a critical element of the organ transplantation system in the United States. An OPO that is efficient in procuring organs and delivering them to recipients will save more lives than an ineffective OPO.
The nation’s 58 OPOs are responsible for all organ recovery from deceased donors in the United States; without OPOs, organs from deceased donors will not be recovered. Without recovery of organs from deceased donors, only organs from living donors will be recovered and transplanted, and many
patients waiting for organs will die.
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