[Attitudes of medical staff potentially participating in the organ donation process towards organ donation and transplantation in Bavaria]

D Grammenos, T Bein, J Briegel, K-U Eckardt, G Gerresheim, C Lang, C Nieß, F Zeman, T Breidenbach
Deutsche Medizinische Wochenschrift 2014, 139 (24): 1289-94

BACKGROUND: Organ donation rates in Germany are lower than in other countries and have declined further after manipulations of the waiting lists in some German transplant centers became public. Attitudes and commitment of medical personnel are crucial for successful organ donation. Therefore, we studied the attitudes of hospital staff towards organ donation and transplantation.

METHOD: In 50 Bavarian hospitals, medical professionals working in units relevant to organ donation were asked to respond to an anonymous questionnaire.

RESULTS: 2983 questionnaires could be evaluated. The majority of all respondents had a positive attitude towards organ donation; 71 % were willing to donate their organs after brain death and 57 % were willing to accept a transplant in case of organ failure. Rates of positive attitude were lower among nurses than among physicians. 28 % indicated that recent developments had a negative impact on their attitude and of those approximately half evaluated the work of transplant centers negatively. Overall only 23 % considered organ allocation as fair. The majority of nurses and a large proportion of physicians considered themselves as not well informed.

CONCLUSION: The current loss of confidence into organ donation and transplantation also affects the attitude of medical personnel. Intensified measures of information and full transparency of all procedures are urgently needed.

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