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ABSTRACT: The need for transplantable cadaveric organs for outweighs the supply. Improvements in the relatively new field of transplantation have dramatically improved success rates. Legislation at the state and federal levels has removed many legal roadblocks to donation. The network for the recovery and distribution of organs is well-developed and effective. OPOs, whose sole responsibility is the recovery and distribution of transplantable organs, can guide the medical staff through the process with minimal disruption of hospital routine. The recognition and referral of all potential organ donors is the responsibility of all health care professionals and helps alleviate the current shortage of transplantable organs. When simple and caring techniques are used, family consent rates for donation can approach 75%. Health care professionals remain the key to closing the imposing gap between a patient's need for transplantation and those suitable for donation.
Critical Care Nursing Clinics of North America 04/2000; 12(1):23-33.