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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.