Indiana Donor Network Announces Expansion of On-site ICU

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Indiana Donor Network announces an expansion of its on-site intensive care unit is now complete. The new five-bed ICU is part of the organization’s innovative Organ and Tissue Recovery Center, which enables Indiana Donor Network to facilitate organ and tissue recovery at its facility, as opposed to in a hospital operating room, where organ recovery surgeries typically take place.

As opposed to hospital ICUs, where severely ill or injured patients receive critical care, the ICU at Indiana Donor Network was built to support only patients who are to become donors. These patients have already been declared brain dead, and the Indiana Donor Network ICU works to ensure the lifesaving organs remain viable for transplant recipients.

Indiana Donor Network’s organ recovery facility first opened in May 2020 after the organization fast-tracked plans to add on-site organ recovery capabilities alongside its existing tissue recovery program due to the COVID-19 pandemic. As plans for the on-site organ recovery program took shape, the facility’s initial design featured a two-bed ICU, along with two surgical recovery suites. The latest renovations allowed for the addition of three ICU beds, which will facilitate the critical care of more organ donors transported to the Indianapolis facility for organ recovery.

“The recovery center expansion provides us with the much-needed space to give more donor heroes the chance to leave a lasting legacy,” said Indiana Donor Network President and CEO Kellie Hanner. “These donor heroes bring hope to more than 1,000 people in Indiana, and over 100,000 patients across the country, who are waiting on a lifesaving gift.”

Fewer than 20% of the country’s 57 organ recovery organizations have similar on-site organ recovery capabilities. To learn more 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 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 all but eliminates that wait time, meaning a better experience for the families of donor heroes. 

Improved process for hospitals: The opening of the recovery center frees up critical hospital resources. Donors 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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