Increasing Organ Donation and Transplantation: The Challenge of Evaluation. 2. Donors per Estimated Potential Donors (as determined by death certificate review)

03/18/1998

A less expensive and faster alternative to estimating the potential donor pool involves using the number of deaths attributed by death certificate codes to causes that suggest potential donors. These data are relatively accessible from national mortality databases or state and local offices of vital statistics.

  • The availability of death certificate data on the national level allows national rates to be determined consistently with state and local rates. Some researchers have expressed concern that the estimation is compromised by two problems: inconsistency in death coding patterns in different areas of the country and an insufficient definition of potential donors, particularly since there is no authoritative coding that assures potential for donation.