Emerg Med J 29:228-232 doi:10.1136/emj.2010.107334
  • Original article

Utilisation of an embedded specialist nurse and collaborative care pathway increases potential organ donor referrals in the emergency department

Editor's Choice
  1. Bruce Finlayson1
  1. 1Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital NHS Trust, Norwich, Norfolk, UK
  2. 2NHS Blood and Transplant, Addenbrookes Hospital, Cambridge, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr Julian Garside, Emergency Medicine Registrar, Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital NHS Trust, 48 Pightle Way, Lyng, Norwich, Norfolk NR9 5RL, UK; julian.garside{at}
  • Accepted 10 February 2011
  • Published Online First 17 March 2011


Objective To review the impact of an embedded specialist nurse in organ donation (SN:OD) and the utilisation of a collaborative care pathway on potential solid organ donor referrals in an emergency department (ED) over a 24-month period.

Methods A retrospective cohort study of adult patient deaths within the department, (n=311) during a 24-month period. Referral rates to the organ donation team (ODT) were compared before and after the introduction of a SN:OD and collaborative care pathway.

Results Referrals to the ODT significantly increased from three of 151 eligible patients (2%) to 26 of 160 patients (16%; χ2 test p<0.0001) following the introduction of a SN:OD into the trust. The number of patients proceeding to organ donation increased from none to two (Fisher's exact test p=1.0).

Conclusions The presence of an embedded SN:OD in the ED and the adoption of a collaborative care pathway to establish clinical triggers for referral to the ODT have significantly increased the rate of referral of adult potential organ donors to organ donation services.


  • Competing interests None.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

Relevant Article

Free sample
This recent issue is free to all users to allow everyone the opportunity to see the full scope and typical content of EMJ.
View free sample issue >>

Don't forget to sign up for content alerts so you keep up to date with all the articles as they are published.


Among patients with minor TBI (GCS 13-15) getting CT scans ≥ 24 hours after injury, what proportion have a traumatic finding?


0.5% - 43% response rate
3% - 41% response rate
10% - 16% response rate

Related original article: PCT head imaging in patients with head injury who present after 24 h of injury: a retrospective cohort study

Navigate This Article