RESEARCH SUPPORT, U.S. GOV'T, P.H.S.
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Trends in pediatric organ donation after cardiac death.

Pediatrics 2007 October
OBJECTIVE: Organ donation after cardiac death is viewed as one way of partially closing the current gap between organ supply and demand. There are no published guidelines for organ donation after cardiac death specific to the pediatric population. The objective of this study was to examine the cumulative pediatric donation-after-cardiac-death experience to set the context for the development and sharing of best-practice guidelines.

PATIENTS AND METHODS: This was a retrospective, descriptive study that used data from the Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network/United Network for Organ Sharing database from 1993 to 2005. Organ data from all donors after cardiac death who were < 18 years of age were analyzed. The list of donor medical centers was then cross-referenced with the member list from the National Association of Children's Hospitals and Related Institutions.

RESULTS: There were 683 organs from donation-after-cardiac-death donors < 18 years of age. Of those, < 5% were used for pediatric recipients. In comparison, approximately 20% of non-donation-after-cardiac-death organs from pediatric donors were used for pediatric recipients. The vast majority of donation-after-cardiac-death organs donated were kidneys and livers. More than 50% of medical centers that had a pediatric organ-donation-after-cardiac-death donor had just 1. The medical center with the largest pediatric organ-donation-after-cardiac-death donation experience had 14 donors. Forty-three percent of medical centers that had > or = 1 pediatric donation-after-cardiac-death donor were members of the National Association of Children's Hospitals and Related Institutions. Fifty-six percent of all of the pediatric donation-after-cardiac-death organs were donated from the National Association of Children's Hospitals and Related Institution member centers.

CONCLUSIONS: Data regarding the use of pediatric donation-after-cardiac-death organs for pediatric recipients remain sparse. Few medical centers have had enough donation-after-cardiac-death donor experience to report a tried-and-true approach. We advocate for comprehensive collection and reporting of outcome data for all-aged recipients of pediatric donation-after-cardiac-death organs to help facilitate the generation of evidence-based best-practice guidelines for pediatric donation after cardiac death.

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