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County-By-County Denials/Delays

  • Colorado and Wyoming state law mandates that coroners maximize donations by:
    • Denying or delaying cases only when removal of the cornea will interfere with determining a cause or manner of death.
    • Making every attempt to complete examinations and investigations within time periods that allow for the recovery of the donated eye tissues.
  • A few of the cases below reflect conditions that may be beyond the coroner's control, such as the donor not being positively identified or the next-of-kin cannot be located. The eye bank began requesting written reasons for denials and delays only in the 4th quarter of 2014. In 2015, we hope to be able to compare with the total number of cases released. 
  • The National Association of Medical Examiners recommends release in virtually all donation cases under the jurisdiction of the coroner. Two states, Tennessee and New York, require the coroner to release on all cases and other jurisdictions have made it policy to never deny an eye, organ or tissue donation (Chicago's Cook County is the most famous).
  • Many of the cases below were released for recovery only AFTER the autopsy. Any cornea donation case delayed to after autopsy cannot be recovered unless the autopsy is completed within 12 hours of the time of death. Corneas are living tissues with a short viability time. The national average between the death and preservation of donated corneas is 8 hours. At the Rocky Mountain Lions Eye Bank, the average death to preservation time on eye-only donations with PRE-AUTOPSY release is 11.5 hours. The average death to preservation on cases that are eye AND tissue/organ cases averages released PRE-AUTOPSY is 14.2 hours. The average death to preservation of NON-CORONER cases at RMLEB is 8.5 hours. 

 

  COLORADO    
County Number of denials/delayed beyond recovery time in 2012 Number of denials/delayed beyond recovery time in 2013 Number of denials/delayed beyond recovery time in 2014
Adams 4* 12* 26 *
Alamosa 0 0 1
Arapahoe 1 3 2
Archuleta 0 0 0
Baca 0 0 0
Bent 0 0 0
Boulder 12* 16* 10 **
Chaffee 0 0 0
Cheyenne 0 0 0
Clear Creek 0 0 0
Conejos 0 0 0
Costilla 0 0 0
Crowley 0 0 0
Custer 0 0 0
Delta 0 0 0
Denver 3 3 8
Dolores 0 0 0
Douglas 0 1 3
Eagle 0 1 0
El Paso 0 6 3
Elbert 0 0 0
Fremont 0 0 0
Garfield 0 0 0
Gilpin 0 1 0
Grand 0 0 0
Gunnison 0 0 0
Hinsdale 0 0 0
Huerfano 0 0 1
Jackson 0 0 0
Jefferson 1 8 2
Kiowa 0 0 0
Kit Carson 0 1 0
Lake 0 0 0
La Plata 0 3 2
Larimer 0 2 1
Las Animas 0 0 0
Lincoln 0 0 0
Logan 0 0 1
Mesa 0 0 2
Mineral 0 0 0
Moffat 0 0 0
Montezuma 0 1 0
Montrose 0 0 0
Morgan 0 1 0
Otero 0 1 0
Ouray 0 0 0
Park 0 0 0
Phillips 0 0 0
Pitkin 0 0 0
Prowers 0 1 0
Pueblo 0 1 3
Rio Blanco 0 0 0
Rio Grande 0 0 3
Routt 0 `0 1
Saguache 0 0 0
San Juan 0 0 0
San Miguel 0 0 0
Sedgwick 0 1 0
Summit 0 0 1
Teller 0 0 0
Washington 0 0 0
Weld 0 2 2
Yuma 0 0 0
       
Totals: 21 65 72
       
* Does not have a signed protocol agreement as required by law.
**Boulder County signed a protocol agreement in August, 2014. Only 1 case was delayed or denied after the protocol came into place. 
       
  WYOMING    
       
  2013 2014  
Albany 1 1  
Big Horn 1 1  
Campbell 3 0  
Carbon 2 0  
Fremont 3 4  
Hot Springs 0 1  
Johnson 0 1  
Laramie 1 1  
Natrona 1 1  
Park 1 0  
Sheridan 3 1  
Washakie 1 0  
Weston 1 1  
       
       
Totals: 18 12