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Article |

The Feasibility of Organ Salvage From Non—Heart-Beating Trauma Donors

David H. Wisner, MD; Bernard Lo, MD
Arch Surg. 1996;131(9):929-934. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1996.01430210027006.
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Background:  Blunt trauma patients without vital signs on admission are potential non—heart-beating donors.

Objective:  To review the feasibility of postmortem visceral perfusion and organ donation in blunt trauma patients without vital signs.

Design:  A retrospective case series of blunt trauma victims who were declared dead in the emergency department.

Setting:  A level I trauma center.

Main Outcome Measures:  Factors potentially precluding donation and potential donor yield.

Results:  The mean trauma-to-death interval was 71 minutes (<60 minutes in 57% of the cases). Injuries likely to interfere with in situ perfusion were present in 41% of the cases. The tissue donation consent rate was 45%. Assuming a similar organ donation consent rate, the potential donor yield was 9% after excluding victims who were younger than 60 years of age, warm ischemia times that were less than 60 minutes, and patients who had injuries precluding perfusion.

Conclusions:  The potential organ yield from non—heart-beating, blunt trauma victims is low, which highlights the ethical and legal problems of this approach.Arch Surg. 1996;131:929-934


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