Andrew Healey takes us on an exploration of the early phases of
donor management in ICU and Emergency Medicine in his heart felt
SMACC Chicago talk Optimizing the Care of the Organ Donation
Patient. Which focuses on the processes of managing donor
patients and their families, while they ride their ICU/ ED
journey through to organ donor.
Healey summarises his talk into four main points:
1. Set families up to make the right decisions - be it
with end of life care or organ donation.
2. Preserve the opportunity for donation - understand that
this is often the last decisions a family will have to make about a
loved one and they may need time.
3. Never Say No - never say no to an organ donation, ask
the specialist. The only people who can decide if a person is not
ideal for organ donation are those people who intimately know the
recipient. Healey sights some interesting stats that are
worth thinking about such as; 1 out of every 4 people who
are on the heart transplant list in Canada die. While, the risk of
contracting HIV or Hepatitis from a transplant heart is 1 in 4000
(HIV) and 1 in 245 (hepatitis). With these in mind the
elevated risk donor can look less risky.
4. Remember Organ Donation is never merely a mention - It's up
to physicians and critical care providers to guide families to make
the right decisions.