Organ donation after death in the community or emergency department


The transplantation of human organs is entirely dependent upon organ donation. With increasing numbers of patients on transplant waiting lists, there is evergrowing pressure to recruit organ donors. Modern society, however, presents many challenges to organ donation. Ethical, cultural, and legal issues strongly influence donation, while an ageing population with a falling rate of traumatic death provides fewer donors (NHS Blood and Transplant, 2011). In order to meet these demands, surgeons are developing techniques to obtain organs from donors who would have not previously been suitable for donation; one such technique seeks to obtain organs from patients who die in the pre-hospital environment. This article presents an overview of the current process of deceased organ donation and a detailed review of the potential of organ donation from patients who die outside hospital or in the emergency department. The UK NHS paramedic staff would play a key role in such a system.

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