The feasibility of organ salvage from non-heart-beating trauma donors

David H Wisner, Bernard Lo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

4 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background: Blunt trauma patients without vital signs on admission are potential non-heart-beating donors. Objective: To review the feasibility of postmortem visceral perfusion and organ donation in blunt trauma patients without vital signs. Design: A retrospective case series of blunt trauma victims who were declared dead in the emergency department. Setting: A level I trauma center. Main Outcome Measures: Factors potentially precluding donation and potential donor yield. Results: The mean trauma-to-death interval was 71 minutes (<60 minutes in 57% of the cases). Injuries likely to interfere with in situ perfusion were present in 41% of the cases. The tissue donation consent rate was 45%. Assuming a similar organ donation consent rate, the potential donor yield was 9% after excluding victims who were younger than 60 years of age, warm ischemia times that were less than 60 minutes, and patients who had injuries precluding perfusion. Conclusions: The potential organ yield from non-heart-beating, blunt trauma victims is low, which highlights the ethical and legal problems of this approach.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)929-934
Number of pages6
JournalArchives of Surgery
Volume131
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 1996

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery

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