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October 9, 1972

The Cadaver DonorLogistics of Supply and Demand in an Urban Population

Author Affiliations

From the Division of Surgery, Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee.

JAMA. 1972;222(2):162-167. doi:10.1001/jama.1972.03210020016004

To identify the logistical problems of donor supply and demand in renal and hepatic homotransplantation, a retrospective study was performed of all deaths that occurred in Milwaukee County, Wisconsin, (population, 1,072,100), during 1966. Potential donors were selected after critical analysis of hospital death rosters and individual patient records, according to specifically defined criteria.

Of the total deaths (10,494), 4.4% (460) met the criteria for liver donors and 0.6% (60) satisfied the stricter kidney-donor criteria. Comparison of donor yields for individual causes of death indicated that deaths from cerebral trauma (80%) were most apt to meet the donor criteria. Within the same population, there were 117 potential liver recipients and 56 potential kidney recipients. The results of this study indicated that the supply of donor organs should meet the demands in this typical urban population.