Organ Donors From Mortalities in Neonatal ICUs Identified

Eight percent of mortalities identified as potential candidates for donation after cardiac death

THURSDAY, Jan. 13 (HealthDay News) -- The identification of theoretically eligible infant donors in neonatal intensive care units (NICUs) is described in a study published in the January issue of The Journal of Pediatrics.

Michelle Labrecque, R.N., M.S.N., from the Children's Hospital Boston, and colleagues conducted a retrospective study of deaths in three NICUs from 2005 to 2007. Based on criteria established by transplantation surgeons, investigators identified those eligible for organ donation after cardiac death (DCD) using warm ischemic time as a benchmark.

The investigators found that of the 192 deaths that occurred during the study period, 31 were identified as theoretically eligible donors, and 8 percent were potential candidates for DCD. Of these, 14 had a warm ischemic time of less than 30 minutes and 10 were potential donors of hearts; whereas, 16 had a warm ischemic time of less than one hour and were potential donors of 14 livers and 18 kidneys.

"The need to increase the pool of organ donors is clear. The capability of the pediatric population in general, and the infant population in particular, to significantly increase the supply of organs continues to evolve as more pediatric hospitals develop DCD programs," the authors write.

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