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Office of Program Policy Analysis and Government Accountability

Performance Audit of the Organ Donor Program Administered by the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles and the Agency for Health Care Administration , Report No. 12355, June 1994

  • Although Florida has a higher per capita rate of organ donation than the nation as a whole, the state has experienced a worsening shortage of organs for transplant. Approximately 100 persons died while awaiting transplants in Florida during 1991 and 1992. Between 1991 and 1993, the number of persons waiting for transplants in Florida increased by 23%, while the number of organs donated grew by only 8%. As of December 31, 1993, there were 753 people registered at Florida transplant centers awaiting organ transplant.
  • Current state efforts to address the donor shortage have limited effectiveness. Although DHSMV has registered approximately 2.6 million persons as organ donors, hospitals and organ procurement agencies typically do not use driver licenses to authorize organ and tissue recovery. Instead, these agencies request permission from the family regardless of the donor status on a patient's license.
  • Required organ donation requests in some hospitals do not result in many organ or tissue donations. Although most hospital deaths are suitable for some type of donation (i.e., eyes for research purposes), the majority of Florida hospitals we reviewed identified fewer than 40% of deaths as suitable donors. AHCA has not monitored or enforced hospital compliance with required request provisions, which may result in low emphasis on these activities by hospitals.

    Copies of this report in print or alternate accessible format may be obtained by telephone (850/488-0021), by FAX (850/487-9213), in person, or by mail (OPPAGA Report Production, Claude Pepper Building, Room 312, 111 W. Madison St., Tallahassee, FL 32399-1475).
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