Recognizing the Clinical Trigger

Regulatory agencies and individual hospital policies require ALL patient deaths and imminent deaths to be referred to the Pacific Northwest Transplant Bank (PNTB) in a timely manner for assessment of donation potential. This requirement ensures that all patients and their families are afforded the opportunity to donate organs, eyes and tissues if they choose and are medically suitable. Because compliance is monitored closely and reported to regulatory agencies, PNTB has collaborated with hospitals in Oregon, SW Washington and Western Idaho to define a clinical trigger to help hospital staff identify and refer all potential donor patients in a timely manner (ideally within 1 hour of a patient meeting one of the criteria below).

Call the PNTB Referral Line 1-800-344-8916 if you are caring for a patient that meets any of the following criteria:

  1. A severely brain injured, ventilator-dependent patient with either :
    1. Clinical findings consistent with a Glasgow Coma Score of less than or equal to 5, and/or
    2. A plan to discontinue mechanical or pharmacological support for end of life
  2. A patient who has had comfort care measures ordered
  3. A patient who is made DNR, and death is expected within this hospitalization
  4. If a patient’s family is considering withdrawing support, end of life care options, or has asked about donation specifically
  5. At time of death, even if that patient has been previously referred***
  6. Prior to the mention or ANY conversation about donation

*** call needs to be made within one hour after death