MIAMI — South Florida's only organ bank is under fire from a national board that oversees policies and practices for organ transplants.
Federal regulators have declared the University of Miami's Life Alliance Organ Recovery Agency a member not in good standing, the Miami Herald reported on Saturday.
The declaration means the organ bank has committed a serious violation of policies or serious lapse in patient safety or quality of care and must correct the issues, regulators said.
The organ bank, known as LAORA, has agreements with more than 80 South Florida hospitals and distributes organs for transplant in six Florida counties and in the Bahamas. LAORA recovers organs from donor patients at South Florida hospitals and distributes the organs throughout the country.
United Network for Organ Sharing, an organization that coordinates organ donation under a contract with the federal government, told the newspaper it could not divulge specific facts and circumstance from confidential medical peer reviews.
The organization said LAORA means the organ bank "failed to meet key expectations for compliance," and that the change in designation came after an on-site visit by federal regulators in June.
Organ bank officials say they are committed to saving lives and will continue to work with hospitals and transplant centers throughout the region.
Alghidak "Sam" Salama, a physician and interim executive director of LAORA, issued a written statement.
"The leadership of the Life Alliance Organ Recovery Agency (LAORA) is committed to saving lives through organ donation and transplantation," Salama wrote.
"LAORA appreciates the recommendations . . . and will continue to work with donor hospitals and transplant centers throughout the designated service area to provide the gift of life to as many people as possible."