Date of Award


Degree Name



College of Health Professions

Type of Degree


Document Type


First Advisor

Linda Scott

Second Advisor

Karen Stanley

Third Advisor

Lou Ann Hartley


It is unclear if hospitals correctly refer all potential organ donors to Organ Procurement Organizations. Unidentified or mis-referred patients may be present in rural acute care Appalachian hospitals. A one-year nonexperimental retrospective descriptive study was used to review medical records in one rural Appalachian hospital. Data from the chart review indicated that of the total (n = 34) patients, sixty-eight percent (n = 23) were properly referred as cardiac standstill and six percent (n = 2) were properly reported as brain dead. However, nine percent (n = 3) were not referred to the OPO (unidentified). Eighteen percent (n = 6) were found to be potentially suitable for organ donation but reported as cardiac standstill (mis-referred). Findings indicate potential brain death patients are misidentified or un-referred to the Organ Procurement Organization in this rural Appalachian acute care hospital. Potential organ donor and brain death educational development opportunities were identified.


Organ donors.

Rural hospitals.

Brain death.

Organ Procurement Trends.

Included in

Nursing Commons