Level of acceptance of a clinical solid organ xenotransplantation program among personnel in organ transplant-related services in Spanish, Mexican, and Cuban hospital centers

A Ríos, L Martínez-Alarcón, M A Ayala-García, M J Sebastián, A Abdo-Cuza, A López-Navas, A López-López, E J Ramírez, G Muñoz, A Camacho, J Suárez-López, R Castellanos, J S Rodríguez, M A Martínez, A Nieto, G Ramis, P Ramírez, P Parrilla
Transplantation Proceedings 2010, 42 (1): 222-7

INTRODUCTION: Xenotransplantation is far from becoming a clinical reality. However, in vital organs it could be used as a bridge until a human organ becomes available, in an emergency situation. We analyzed the attitude toward xenotransplantation among personnel in transplant-related services in several hospitals in Spain and Latin America.

METHODS: A random sample stratified by type of service and job category (n = 738), in transplant-related services (procurement units, transplant units, and transplant patient follow-up units) was examined in eight hospital centers from three different countries: Spain (n = 349), Mexico (n = 269), and Cuba (n = 120). A self-administered validated questionnaire was completed anonymously.

RESULTS: Based on the assumption that all the results of xenotransplantation were similar to those achieved with human donors, most respondents [66% (n = 484)] would be in favor. The employees from Cuban centers had the most favorable attitudes (72% in favor), followed by the Spanish (64%) and the Mexicans (61%; P = .013). However, the differences were mainly determined by job category: Physicians showed the most favorable attitudes and auxiliary staff the least (67% vs 40%; P = .010). Attitudes were significantly related to beliefs about different types of human donation [deceased (P < .001) and living (P < .001)], the possibility of needing a transplant for oneself (P < .001), and a favorable attitude toward donating the organs of a deceased family member (P = .004).

CONCLUSIONS: Currently, a third of health care employees working in transplant-related services are not in favor of xenotransplantation. More information should be provided about the subject, especially in centers with preclinical xenotransplantation programs.

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