With an increased demand and an overall shortage of available organs to transplant, donation after cardiac death (DCD) has become a viable option during the last decade. Donation after brain death (DBD) has well-established protocols in adults and children; however DCD protocols still meet some resistance due to concerns about a negative end-of-life experience for a patient’s family and staff. Cowl and colleagues surveyed a multidisciplinary pediatric intensive care unit’s (PICU) staff regarding their acceptance of a protocol for DCD in comparison to DBD. They found the following:
The PICU staff’s perception and acceptance of DCD did not differ from DBD.
There was no difference noted in the multidisciplinary care provider groups (ie, physicians, nurses, social workers).
Among 20 staff members who had participated in DCD, 95% reported a general positive experience and all reported it as a worthwhile option.
The authors concluded...