Rates of organ donation in a UK tertiary cardiac arrest centre following out-of-hospital cardiac arrest

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

21 Citations (Scopus)


To ascertain the rate of successful organ donation (OD) within patients who sustained an out of hospital cardiac arrest (OHCA) with initial return of spontaneous circulation (ROSC) and survival to hospital admission, but whom subsequently do not survive to hospital discharge.

A retrospective audit of ambulance service and hospital databases from January 2010 to January 2015 was undertaken in a United Kingdom tertiary-referral regional cardiac arrest centre. Crude denominator data for cardiac arrests was obtained from the regional ambulance service; the ICU database was interrogated for OHCA patient admissions and outcomes. Patients who died were cross-referenced against the local Organ Donation service database.

Five hundred and fourteen {514} patients were admitted to ICU following OHCA over this five year period. Two hundred and forty-one {241} patients (47%) survived to hospital discharge and 273 (53%) died of whom 106 (39%) were referred to a Specialist Nurse for Organ Donation (SNOD). The conversion rate after the family was approached was 64%. Twenty-eight {28} patients proceeded to donation and 25 patients (24%) successfully donated at least one organ. On average, a patient proceeding to donation provided 1.9 organs.

A proactive, systematic approach to OD in OHCA patients can provide a good conversion rate and substantial number of donors. Most donations occur after death from circulatory criteria. There is a positive socio-economic benefit with nearly £4m in savings to the health service within the next 5 years potentially being realised during this period by liberating patients from dialysis.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)41-43
Number of pages3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2016


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