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When to Mention Organ Donation 

When to Mention Organ Donation
When to Mention Organ Donation
Neurocritical Care (2 ed.)

Eelco F. M. Wijdicks

, Alejandro A. Rabinstein

, Sara E. Hocker

, and Jennifer E. Fugate


Physicians have the obligation to approach an organ procurement agency after brain death in a patient or after withdrawal of life support. Patients who do not fulfill brain death criteria may still be candidates for a donation after a cardiac death protocol. The two main procedures for organ donation—donation after brain death and donation after cardiac death—are discussed in this chapter. Some patients in a donation after a cardiac death protocol become brain dead. It therefore remains important to repeatedly examine the patient’s neurological status until the time comes to go to the operating room to remove the organs. If respiratory and circulatory arrest does not occur after extubation in the operating room, the patient needs to be returned to the intensive care unit for palliative care.

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