History of deceased organ donation, transplantation, and organ procurement organizations.
ABSTRACT The historical development of deceased organ donation, transplantation, and organ procurement organizations is reviewed. The concept of transplantation, taking parts from one animal or person and putting them into another animal or person, is ancient. The development of organ transplantation brought on the need for a source of organs. Although many early kidney transplants used kidneys from living donors, these donors could not satisfy the ever-growing need for organs, and extrarenal organs were recovered only from deceased donors. This need for organs to satisfy the great demand led to specialized organizations to identify deceased donors, manage them until recovery occurred, and to notify transplant centers that organs were available for their patients. The functions of these organ procurement organizations expanded to include other required functions such as education, accounting, and compliance with state and federal requirements. Because of the shortage of organs relative to the demand, lack of a unified organ allocation system, the perception that organs are a national resource and should be governed by national regulations, and to improve results of organ procurement organizations and transplant centers, the federal government has regulated virtually all phases of organ procurement and transplantation.