The vital role sample storage plays in organ donation and procurement

sample storage

Organ donation is the first step in giving life and hope back to patients who are desperately waiting for a transplant. Securing a match between a donated organ and a patient is the next step.

Between these two stages, organ procurement organizations (OPOs) run extensive tests on donor samples for HIV, hepatitis, and other ailments to protect the donor recipient. OPOs also maintain blood samples for each deceased donor for at least 10 years after organ transplant to support retrospective testing.

It’s a process that must be tightly regulated to confirm the viability of donated organs and make future reflective testing possible. This is where sample storage comes in.

Sample Storage for OPOs

When you think about storing vials of both blood plasma and blood serum for every donor for 10 years after transplant surgery is completed – that’s an enormous number of samples to store.

OPOs must also keep exacting records on location for every single sample in case retrospective testing is necessary. So, it’s easy to see why in-house sample storage can become an obstacle for many OPOs.

A practical alternative is off-site sample storage. Especially if the company handling this off-site storage has a reputation for providing fast and easy accessibility, record turn-around time for sample requests, and failsafe electronic tracking for stored samples.

One organ procurement organization, LifeGift, made the decision to store all blood samples safely offsite. What’s interesting about their story is LifeGift goes a step further in storing blood samples for follow-up testing by keeping them for an INDEFINITE amount of time after transplant surgery occurs.

Find out how this is working for them in the case study