Indexed on: 22 May '20Published on: 21 May '20Published in: Anaesthesia
Organ donation after brain death remains the deceased organ donation pathway of choice. In the UK, the current identification and referral rate for potential donation after brain death donors is 99%, the testing rate for determining death using neurological criteria is 86% and the approach to families for donation is 91%. Increasing donation after brain death donation will primarily require a large increase in the current consent rate of 72% to one matching the consent rate of 80-90% achieved in other European countries. Implementing the use of evidence-based donor optimisation bundles may increase the number of organs available for transplantation. Alternatively, the UK will need to look at more challenging ways of increasing the pool of potential donors after brain death. The first would be to delay the withdrawal of life-sustaining treatment in patients with devastating brain injury to allow progression to brain death after the family have given consent to organ donation and with their consent to this delay. Even more challenging would be the consideration of re-introducing intensive care to facilitate organ donation programmes that have been so successful at increasing the number of organ donors elsewhere. © 2020 Association of Anaesthetists.