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Pediatric Donation After Circulatory Determination of Death: A Scoping Review

Journal title
Pediatric critical care medicine : a journal of the Society of Critical Care Medicine and the World Federation of Pediatric Intensive and Critical Care Societies
Publication year
2016
Author(s)
Weiss, M. J.; Hornby, L.; Witteman, W.; Shemie, S. D.
Pages
e87-e108
Volume
17
Number
3

OBJECTIVE: Although pediatric donation after circulatory determination of death is increasing in frequency, there are no national or international donation after circulatory determination of death guidelines specific to pediatrics. This scoping review was performed to map the pediatric donation after circulatory determination of death literature, identify pediatric donation after circulatory determination of death knowledge gaps, and inform the development of national or regional pediatric donation after circulatory determination of death guidelines. DATA SOURCES: Terms related to pediatric donation after circulatory determination of death were searched in Embase and MEDLINE, as well as the non-MEDLINE sources in PubMed from 1980 to May 2014. STUDY SELECTION: Seven thousand five hundred ninety-seven references were discovered and 85 retained for analysis. All references addressing pediatric donation after circulatory determination of death were considered. Exclusion criteria were articles that did not address pediatric patients, animal or laboratory studies, surgical techniques, and local pediatric donation after circulatory determination of death protocols. Narrative reviews and opinion articles were the most frequently discovered reference (25/85) and the few discovered studies were observational or qualitative and almost exclusively retrospective. DATA EXTRACTION: Retained references were divided into themes and analyzed using qualitative methodology. DATA SYNTHESIS: The main discovered themes were 1) studies estimating the number of potential pediatric donation after circulatory determination of death donors and their impact on donation; 2) ethical issues in pediatric donation after circulatory determination of death; 3) physiology of the dying process after withdrawal of life-sustaining therapy; 4) cardiac pediatric donation after circulatory determination of death; and 5) neonatal pediatric donation after circulatory determination of death. Donor estimates suggest that pediatric donation after circulatory determination of death will remain an event less common than brain death, albeit with the potential to substantially expand the existing organ donation pool. Limited data suggest outcomes comparable with organs donated after neurologic determination of death. Although there is continued debate around ethical aspects of pediatric donation after circulatory determination of death, all pediatric donation after circulatory determination of death publications from professional societies contend that pediatric donation after circulatory determination of death can be practiced ethically. CONCLUSIONS: This review provides a comprehensive overview of the published literature related to pediatric donation after circulatory determination of death. In addition to informing the development of pediatric-specific guidelines, this review serves to highlight several important knowledge gaps in this topic.

Research abstracts