Cell and Tissue Banking

, Volume 16, Issue 2, pp 303–309 | Cite as

The role of the donor liaison officer at PlusLife (Perth Bone and Tissue Bank Inc.), Western Australia

  • Claire SmytheEmail author
  • Nicola White
  • Joyleen Winter
  • Anne Cowie
Original Paper


Femoral head donation at the time of hip replacement surgery provides a much needed resource of bone allograft to orthopaedic surgeons. Prior to 2005, potential femoral head donors were identified and consented in the hospital setting on the day of surgery. This resulted in over 40 % of donations failing post operatively suggesting that more effort could be given to pre-operative screening resulting in substantial savings in the cost associated with collection and testing of donors who were subsequently failed. The Donor Liaison role was implemented in 2005 to coordinate a Femoral Head Donation program maximising the number of successful donations through pre-operative screening. This study reviews the effectiveness of pre-operative screening of potential femoral head donors at PlusLife from 2002–2012. A retrospective audit of the database was undertaken 2002–2012 and medical/social reasons for pre-operative and postoperative failures were collated into 4 main categories to enable comparison: malignancy, autoimmune conditions, variant Creutzfeldt Jakob disease risk and general medical/social reasons. The number of femoral heads failed post operatively has decreased significantly from 26 % in 2003 to 6 % in 2012. A cost of $121,000 was expended on femoral heads failed post operatively in 2004, as compared to $20,350 in 2012. Donors excluded due to the 4 main categories (medical/social history) were identified pre-operatively in over 80 % of all cases. Preoperative screening of femoral head donors through a coordinated Femoral Head Donation Program is a safe and cost effective method.


Donor liaison Hip replacement Femoral head Donor selection Tissue donation Malignancy 



The authors wish to acknowledge the donors generosity, referral agents and participation of hospital staff in retrieving femoral heads.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Claire Smythe
    • 1
    Email author
  • Nicola White
    • 1
  • Joyleen Winter
    • 1
  • Anne Cowie
    • 1
  1. 1.PlusLifeNedlandsAustralia

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