Level of acceptance of solid organ xenotransplantation among personnel in Spanish, Mexican, and Cuban hospitals

Antonio Ríos, Laura Martínez-Alarcón, Ana López-Navas, Marcos Ayala-García, Ma José Sebastián, Anselmo Abdo-Cuza, Ector Jaime Ramírez, Gerardo Muñoz, Gerardo Palacios, Juliette Suárez-López, Ricardo Castellanos, Beatriz González, Miguel Ángel Martínez, Ernesto Díaz, Adrián Nieto, Gillermo Ramis, Pablo Ramírez, Pascual Parrilla
Xenotransplantation 2014, 21 (1): 84-90

BACKGROUND: Xenotransplantation is still a long way from becoming a clinical reality. However, in an emergency situation, it could be used as a bridge for replacing vital organs until the arrival of a human organ. To analyze the attitude toward xenotransplantation among hospital personnel from several hospitals in Spain and Latin America.

METHODS: A random sample stratified according to the type of hospital and job category (n = 2618) in 10 hospitals in three different countries: Spain (n = 821), Mexico (n = 1595), and Cuba (n = 202). A validated questionnaire (PCID-XenoTx Rios) was self-administered and completed anonymously by the respondents.

RESULTS: If the results of xenotransplantation were similar to those achieved using human donor organs, 61% (n = 1591) of the respondents would be in favor, while 9% (n = 234) would be against and 30% (n = 793) would be unsure. The analysis of the variables affecting attitude toward xenotransplantation revealed that attitude varied according to the country of reference and was more favorable among personnel in Cuban hospitals (70% a favor) than in Spanish (57%) and Mexican ones (62%; P = 0.000). However, these differences are mainly determined by job category with the physicians having the most favorable attitude. The ancillary staff, in contrast, had the least favorable attitude (76 vs. 51% respectively; P = 0.000). Of the remaining variables, attitude is significantly related to variables connected to human donation: attitude toward the different kinds of human organ donation (deceased [P < 0.001] and living [P < 0.001]), the possibility of needing a transplant oneself in the future (P < 0.001), and attitude toward donating the organs of a deceased family member (P = 0.004).

CONCLUSIONS: A third of healthcare personnel from several hospitals are not in favor of xenotransplantation. It is necessary to provide more information about the matter, especially in hospitals where there is a preclinical xenotransplantation program or where there is access to one, such as in the hospitals in this study.

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