Indiana Donor Network Organ and Tissue Recovery Center

The Indiana Donor Network Organ and Tissue Recovery Center is a state-of-the-art facility for donor management and recovery. Indiana Donor Network is among only a few organ procurement organizations in the U.S. that has on-site organ and tissue recovery capabilities. Recovering organs at this facility, as opposed to a hospital operating room, provides several benefits to donor families, transplant recipients and the healthcare system.

IBJ Photo by Mickey Shuey

Advantages to On-Site Recovery

More lives saved

Research has shown organ procurement organization-based organ recovery leads to more organs transplanted per donor, saving additional lives and maximizing each donor’s gift of life.

Better donor family experience

Hospital-based organ recovery hinges on the availability of an operating room, often creating long wait times for donor families. Transporting donors to our facility all but eliminates that wait time, meaning a better experience for the families of donor heroes.

Improved process for hospital partners

Hospital units will no longer need to manage donors from a clinical standpoint. The intensive care unit bed the donor occupied will once again be available for other patients, and the operating room will not be held for organ recovery, which can often take many hours.

Reduced healthcare costs

Organ procurement organization-based recovery is far less expensive than when done at a hospital, meaning the costs typically paid by the transplant community, including private insurance companies and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, are reduced.

cath lab
cath lab

About the Organ and Tissue Recovery Center

The Indiana Donor Network Organ and Tissue Recovery Center allows us to transport organ donors from hospitals to our own Indianapolis location. The facility includes operating rooms and a five-bed intensive care unit.

Additionally, we have the diagnostic capabilities and equipment hospitals use when managing potential donor cases, including the capability to do lung bronchoscopy and cardiac echocardiogram at bedside. We also have a cardiac cath lab on site. We have a CT scanner with the ability to perform Computed Tomography Angiography and kidney perfusion pumps available for use after every organ recovery surgery. Learn more about our kidney perfusion operations.

Our dedication to family-focused bereavement support services remains steadfast. Our commitment stands strong with our professional partners to serve donor heroes, their families and patients waiting for a lifesaving transplant.

Location of the
Indiana Donor Network Organ and Tissue Recovery Center

3760 Guion Road
Indianapolis, IN 46222

For Our Hospital Partners​

Indiana Donor Network’s hospital partners remain fundamental to the organ donation process. Hospital staff must still call in referrals based on clinical triggers for potential organ donors. Without these referrals, organ donation could not take place. Indiana Donor Network hospital liaisons, family advocates, Vital Link Donation Center staff and organ recovery coordinators will continue to partner with hospital staff during donation cases, even when the donor will be transported to the recovery facility.

This process eliminates some of the stress previously felt by our hospital partners during the donation process. In cases where a donor is transported to Indiana Donor Network, that hospital unit will no longer need to manage the donor from a clinical standpoint. The intensive care unit bed the donor occupied will once again be available for other patients, and the operating room will not be held for organ recovery, which can often take many hours.

If you are a team member at one of our partner hospitals, please contact your hospital liaison for more information.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. How does this innovation further the lifesaving mission of Indiana Donor Network?

    OPO-based organ recovery capabilities allows our team to continue to provide the best possible care for donors while maximizing their gifts of life – saving more lives. Because an OPO-based recovery process typically happens faster than hospital recovery, the organs have a greater likelihood of viability.

  2. What are the key features of the recovery center?

    The Indiana Donor Network Organ and Tissue Recovery Center includes an on-site surgical suite and ICU. The ICU is outfitted with five beds and all the equipment necessary to care for a critical care patient.

  3. How does OPO-based recovery affect the donation process?

    Once a donor meets the criteria for transport to Indiana Donor Network, and the donor is authorized, the donor will be moved out of the hospital. He or she will be transported to the recovery center where they will be monitored in the ICU until their family is ready to say goodbye and the surgical team and suite is prepared for the recovery.

  4. Will all donors will be transported to Indiana Donor Network?

    Not all donors can be transported from a hospital to Indiana Donor Network. Cases where an authorized donor has been diagnosed with brain death will be discharged from the hospital to allow for transport to Indiana Donor Network. There are some circumstances where cases will remain at donor hospitals, such as:

    • Donors who are not stable enough for transport or require special consultation.
    • Pediatric cases, due to the highly specialized care of these donors.
    • All DCD (donation after circulatory death) cases.
  5. What does on-site recovery mean for donor families?

    This process allows us to better serve donor families. The utilization of the recovery center reduces the time a donor family may need to wait. Due to limited operating room availability, donor hospitals are often forced to reschedule organ recoveries due to trauma emergencies or delay them because of previously scheduled elective surgeries.

  6. Will families have a chance to say goodbye to their loved ones?

    We support donor families through the timing of final goodbyes at the bedside and communication around their loved one’s planned departure from the hospital. Grief support, memory making, Donate Life flag raising, moments of silence and honor walks can still take place as the donor hero is discharged from the hospital, much like they took place as the donor was transported to the OR.

  7. Will donor families be allowed to come to Indiana Donor Network during the organ recovery process?

    Donor family members are welcome at Indiana Donor Network during the organ recovery process.

  8. Will donor families be charged to transport donors?

    No part of the donation process is billed to the donor family. A donor’s transport will be arranged at no cost to their family members. Our ambulance service partners will make sure donors receive the highest level of care while traveling from hospitals to Indiana Donor Network.

  9. What happens to donors after the recovery process?

    After organ and tissue evaluation and recovery, the donor hero will be transported to the funeral home of the family’s choosing or for an autopsy, if needed.

  10. How common is OPO-based organ recovery?

    Fewer than 20% of OPOs across the United States have in-facility organ recovery capabilities. A 2016 study published in the Journal of the American College of Surgeons found in-facility recovery facilities to be more innovative and efficient – leading to an increased likelihood recovered organs could be transplanted and reducing costs associated with other methods of recovery. The study also showed the new process was faster, enabling quicker return of the donor to the family.

  11. How does the process benefit donor hospitals?

    The utilization of the recovery center frees up critical hospital resources. Donors spend less time in ICUs where bed availability is limited, and ICU staffing can be modified to care for other patients. It requires less use of hospital operating rooms and leads to fewer scheduling interruptions.