As donation after cardiac death practices expand, the number of institutional policies is increasing. We contacted organ procurement organizations throughout the United States and requested protocols in hospitals in their donor service areas. Sixty-four protocols were obtained with representation from 16 different states. The terminology and recommended practices varied substantially. The methods for death determination were not specified in 28 (44%) protocols. Most adhered to a 2- to 5-min observation time between circulatory arrest and organ procurement, but 10 (16%) provided no information. This variability reveals a need to define a uniform standard in donation after cardiac death protocols and death determination practices.
- Organ procurement
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