Circulatory death determination in uncontrolled organ donors: A panel viewpoint

James L. Bernat, Thomas P. Bleck, Sandralee A. Blosser, Susan L. Bratton, Alexander M. Capron, Danielle Cornell, Michael A. Devita, Gerard J. Fulda, Alexandra K. Glazier, Cynthia J. Gries, Mudit Mathur, Thomas A. Nakagawa, Sam D. Shemie

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

37 Scopus citations

Abstract

One barrier for implementing programs of uncontrolled organ donation after the circulatory determination of death is the lack of consensus on the precise moment of death. Our panel was convened to study this question after we performed a similar analysis on the moment of death in controlled organ donation after the circulatory determination of death. We concluded that death could be determined by showing the permanent or irreversible cessation of circulation and respiration. Circulatory irreversibility may be presumed when optimal cardiopulmonary resuscitation efforts have failed to restore circulation and at least a 7-minute period has elapsed thereafter during which autoresuscitation to restored circulation could occur. We advise against the use of postmortem organ support technologies that reestablish circulation of warm oxygenated blood because of their risk of retroactively invalidating the required conditions on which death was declared.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)384-390
Number of pages7
JournalAnnals of Emergency Medicine
Volume63
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 2014

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Emergency Medicine

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