Measuring Donor Yield

How often are organs from a donor successfully transplanted?

Understanding Donor Yield Metrics

After successful conversion of a death to a donor, SRTR's donor yield metrics seek to assess how often the donor's organs are successfully transplanted. SRTR creates donor yield metrics for each of the six organs that can be transplanted (heart, intestine, kidney, liver, lung, and pancreas) and a metric for total organ yield, i.e., how many organs were successfully transplanted from the donor. These result in the metrics organs transplanted per donor, or OTPD. 

In addition to OTPD, SRTR performs an assessment of whether or not the number of organs transplanted is above or below expectation for the donor. To do this, SRTR uses a series of complex statistical models that take into account various characteristics of the donor. These models attempt to estimate the likelihood of successful organ transplant based on how often organs from similar donors were successfully transplanted nationally. This comparison results in an observed-to-expected yield ratio, or O/E ratio. If the O/E ratio is 1.0, then the OPO successfully places organs for transplant at a rate consistent with national performance with organs from similar donors. If the O/E ratio is less than or greater than 1.0, then the OPO has lower or higher rates, respectively, of successfully placing organs for transplant. For example, an O/E ratio of 1.2 for liver yield suggests that the OPO successfully places livers for transplant 20% more frequently than expected based on national experience with livers from similar donors, and an O/E ratio of 0.85 suggests that the OPO successfully places livers for transplant 15% less often than expected based on national experience.

A diagram depicting the the donor yield calculation as the number of transplanted organs out of total donors
Visualizing donor yield: successful transplants from total donors.