Features  |   November 2018
Donation After Circulatory Death – What It Means to Anesthesiologists
Article Information
Cardiovascular Anesthesia / Central and Peripheral Nervous Systems / Critical Care / Ethics / Medicolegal Issues / Gastrointestinal and Hepatic Systems / Palliative Care / End-of-Life Care / Respiratory System / Features
Features   |   November 2018
Donation After Circulatory Death – What It Means to Anesthesiologists
ASA Monitor 11 2018, Vol.82, 20-22.
ASA Monitor 11 2018, Vol.82, 20-22.
Prior to a consensus on the definition of brain death, successful organ donation from deceased subjects occurred with rapid procurement after their circulatory arrest and swift progression to reimplantation.
The dead donor rule – stating that living patients must not be killed by organ retrieval – was thus easily satisfied.1  Cadaveric donors could not be harmed by the procedure, and existing limited abilities for resuscitation did not challenge the concept that a loss of circulation inevitably caused loss of life.
Following the development of valid criteria for neuro-logical death by the Ad Hoc Committee of the Harvard Medical School to Examine the Definition of Brain Death,2  patients declared brain dead quickly became the preferable candidates for organ donation as their organs were sustained by an active circulation, reducing the burden of ischemic injury.
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