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...

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