Please note that this page is intend­ed for hos­pi­tal pro­fes­sion­als. If you reached this page by mis­take, please return to our home­page.

Dona­tion after Cir­cu­la­to­ry Death (DCD)

In some instances, a per­son may be able to donate organs fol­low­ing ces­sa­tion of all cir­cu­la­to­ry and res­pi­ra­to­ry func­tions. In order for dona­tion to occur, the fol­low­ing cri­te­ria must be met:

  • The per­son has a non-recov­er­able and irre­versible neu­ro­log­i­cal injury result­ing in ven­ti­la­tor depen­den­cy but not ful­fill­ing death deter­mined by neu­ro­log­i­cal cri­te­ria (brain death). Con­di­tions that may lead to con­sid­er­a­tion of DCD eli­gi­bil­i­ty include but are not lim­it­ed to end-stage mus­cu­loskele­tal dis­ease, pul­monary dis­ease, and high spinal cord injury result­ing in ven­ti­la­tor dependency.
  • The deci­sion to with­draw life sus­tain­ing mea­sures must be made by the patien­t’s autho­rized rep­re­sen­ta­tive and the hospital’s patient care team and be doc­u­ment­ed in the patient chart.
  • The patient is deter­mined med­ical­ly suit­able for dona­tion in col­lab­o­ra­tion with Iowa Donor Network.
  • The patient is like­ly to die with­in a short time peri­od fol­low­ing extu­ba­tion and with­drawl of oth­er life-sus­tain­ing measures.

Organ recov­ery only occurs after the ven­ti­la­tor and any oth­er mechan­i­cal or chem­i­cal cir­cu­la­to­ry mea­sures have been dis­con­tin­ued and the patient is pro­nounced dead by the pri­ma­ry care physi­cian or his/​her designee.

Our Vision:

All are inspired to donate life.