Donation after circulatory death (DCD) liver allografts remain underutilized. Inconsistent processes for DCD procurement may contribute to allograft discard. Optimal surgical and organ procurement organization (OPO) practices for DCD liver recovery should be developed and adopted. DCD practice surveys were distributed to transplant surgeons and OPO leadership. DCD liver recovery best practices were assembled based on survey data, literature review, and subject-matter expert consensus opinion. Data were obtained from transplant surgeons (n = 188) and OPO leadership (n = 48 OPOs). Surgeons preferred attending physician presence at recovery (72.4%); while only 27.7% of OPOs require this. Pre-withdrawal communication huddle (Surgeons: 88.7%; OPOs: 93.8%) and administration of pre-withdrawal heparin (Surgeons: 90.6%; OPOs: 84.8%) are widely accepted. Surgical preference for withdrawal of support is in the operating room (89.3%); OPO practice varies dependent upon hospital and family requirements. Functional donor warm ischemic time (fDWIT) start time is variable, while fDWIT end time is agreed upon as initiation of aortic flush by surgeons (81%) and OPOs (81%). DCD liver recovery practices including mandatory communication huddle, pre-withdrawal heparin administration, and clearly defined start and end of fDWIT should be implemented nationally. Creating a set of best practices for DCD recovery guidelines is necessary for improving DCD liver utilization.
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