> Organ Procurement Organizations
By federal law, not-for-profit OPOs are the only organizations that can perform the life-saving mission of organ and tissue recovery and they serve as the vital link between donors and patients waiting for life-saving organ transplants. They are local organizations that focus on building trust in a system and process that must work for more than 100,000 people on the waiting list and they do so through compassion, transparency and community involvement.
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- Facilitation of the donation process according to federal regulations.
- Clinical management of organ donors and assessment of medical suitability.
- Provide compassionate care and grief support to families before, during, and after donation.
- Public education for people to make informed decisions about donation.
- Development of hospital donation policies/procedures and healthcare professional education.
> OPTN Defined
When the National Organ Transplant Act (NOTA) was signed into law in 1984, it created the national Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network (OPTN) for matching donor organs to waiting recipients. The OPTN both standardized the process through which organs are donated and shared across the country and created the system of federally-designated Organ Procurement Organizations (OPOs) throughout the United States and its territories.
The OPTN includes all OPOs and transplant centers and is managed under contract by the United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS). All OPOs are regulated by multiple government agencies and adhere to the highest medical and ethical standards.