Indian Journal of Respiratory Care

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VOLUME 5 , ISSUE 2 ( July-December, 2016 ) > List of Articles


Care of the brain dead organ donor

Keywords : Brain death, organ preservation, organ donation

Citation Information : Care of the brain dead organ donor. Indian J Respir Care 2016; 5 (2):705-712.

DOI: 10.5005/jp-journals-11010-05202

License: NA

Published Online: 13-12-2022

Copyright Statement:  NA


Organ donation is becoming more common but there is still a large gap between the number of people requiring transplants and the organs donated. There are set criteria for organ donation. When organ donation is considered after brain death, the physician must ensure that the prerequisites for testing are met and proceed to establish brain death using standard guidelines. The pathophysiological changes that occur after brain death must be borne in mind and utmost care should be given to counter those changes that would result in dysfunction of the donated organs. The brain dead patient must be maintained as stable as possible in the ICU. General nursing and medical care must continue. Core temperature must be maintained and infections must be treated. Blood pressure is best maintained with fluids and minimal vasopressors. Low tidal volume ventilation, optimal levels of positive end-expiratory pressures to maintain minimal FIO2, will maintain airways open and reduce extravascular lung water. Maintain euvolaemia. Maintain urine output at 0.5–3 ml/kg/h. Electrolyte abnormalities must be corrected. Maintain blood glucose concentrations between 120-180 mg %. Triple hormonal therapy improves organ function. Organ retrieval is performed in an operation theatre and a well conducted anaesthetic care is essential for the viability of these organs. One brain-dead organ donor can potentially donate ‘lives’ to eight individuals. To enhance or preserve the maximum potential of the donated organs, the anaesthesiologist and intensivist play a vital role in preserving the organs as best as possible.

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