Indiana Donor Network Announces State’s First On-Site Organ Recovery

(INDIANAPOLIS) – Indiana Donor Network announces its first on-site organ recovery, beginning a new era of donation and transplantation in Indiana.

The recovery took place at the state’s first and only Organ and Tissue Recovery Center, where an organ donor hero gave the gift of life. The newly opened Indiana Donor Network Organ and Tissue Recovery Center is located at 3760 Guion Road in Indianapolis.

Until now, all Indiana organ recovery surgeries have taken place in hospital operating rooms. The state-of-the-art facility changes that, allowing Indiana Donor Network to transport organ donor heroes to the Indianapolis location for on-site organ recovery. The center includes an intensive care unit and two surgical recovery suites, which enable Indiana Donor Network to provide the best possible care for donor heroes and save more lives through donation and transplantation.

This new system better serves donor families by shortening their wait times. Before now, families sometimes waited many hours for their loved ones to be moved to an open hospital operating room. It reduces travel for transplant teams and minimizes the preservation time of organs prior to transplant. It also reduces strain on hospital partners by freeing up resources, which is even more beneficial due to the ongoing pandemic.

In addition, the new system is far less expensive, meaning the costs typically paid by the transplant community, including private insurance companies and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, are reduced.

Indiana Donor Network President and CEO Kellie Hanner says the organization is grateful to its partners, without which the vision for the recovery center wouldn’t have become a reality. “This is an incredible moment for Indiana Donor Network, our hospital and transplant center partners, donor families. and waiting recipients. This innovation brings new hope to those awaiting a lifesaving gift.”

Fewer than 20% of the country’s 58 organ procurement organizations have on-site organ recovery capabilities. For more information about the Indiana Donor Network Organ and Tissue Recovery Center, visit IndianaDonorNetwork.org/recovery-center.

Additional Benefits of On-site Organ Recovery

  • More lives saved: Because on-site recovery typically happens faster than hospital recovery, the organs have a greater likelihood of viability.
  • Better donor family experience: Due to the limited availability of operating rooms, donor hospitals are often forced to reschedule organ recoveries due to trauma emergencies or delay them because of previously scheduled elective surgeries. The new system will all but eliminate that wait time, meaning a better experience for the families of donor heroes.
  • An improved process for hospitals: The opening of the recovery center will free up critical hospital resources. Donors will spend less time in ICUs where bed availability is limited. Also, staffing can be modified to care for other patients. This is especially important during the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Reduced costs: On-site recovery is far less expensive than when done at a hospital. A 2016 study published in the American College of Surgeons indicated a 51% decrease in costs when organ recovery was done through an organ procurement organization with organ recovery capabilities.
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