LifeSource to House Serology Lab at Headquarters
Minneapolis, MN (October 3, 2017) –To better serve families and enhance the donation process, LifeSource has expanded its partnership with VRL Eurofins to establish a serology testing laboratory within its Minneapolis Headquarters. Currently, organ donor serology testing takes place at VRL Eurofins Denver, Colorado laboratory. This unique arrangement allows LifeSource to better serve families by building in more flexibility regarding the timing of the organ recovery process.
“Serving donor families and being responsible stewards of their loved one’s incredible gifts is priority number one for us at LifeSource,” said Julie Kemink, LifeSource Chief Clinical Officer. “Having the experts from VRL Eurofins operating a serology lab in our offices will lead to increased efficiencies in the donation process and ultimately more lives saved.”
Donor serology testing is an important step in the donation process because it determines if the potential transplant is free of infectious diseases. The current process of sending blood samples for serology testing to VRL’s laboratory in Denver, Colorado increases the length of organ donation cases by up to 16 hours, which can exacerbate an already challenging and tiring experience for the donor family and taxes clinical partners with shortened windows for viable organ recovery. Establishing this new laboratory will allow LifeSource to move the donation process along in a more efficient manner, enhancing donor families experience with the donation process. Additionally, the on-site laboratory will enhance LifeSource’s relationships with hospital partners by decreasing time needed in the ICU and dependence upon hospital personnel during donation cases.
“Our strong partnership with VRL has allowed us to move quickly in establishing the new lab,” continued Kemink. “Thanks to shared passion and dedication from partners like VRL, we can continue implementing innovations to best serve families and our other partners who all help make donation happen.”
With over 20 years of experience in donor eligibility testing, VRL Eurofins has five complexity testing laboratories throughout the country. The serology lab located within LifeSource will be VRL Eurofins third laboratory hosted within an Organ Procurement Organization (OPO); the other two are housed in the Waltham, Massachusetts office of New England Donor Services and the Dallas, Texas office of Southwest Transplant Alliance. VRL’s other laboratories are regionally located and service multiple OPOs. VRL currently performs STAT infectious disease testing for 15 OPOs, testing over 3,000 organ donors per year.
LifeSource is the non-profit organization dedicated to saving lives through organ, eye and tissue donation in the Upper Midwest, serving more than seven million people in communities across Minnesota, North Dakota and South Dakota. Learn more at life-source.org.