Perceptions of pediatric deceased donor consent: A survey of organ procurement organizations

Perceptions of pediatric deceased donor consent: A survey of organ procurement organizations
Gretchen B Chapman, Alison Butler, Mandy Lanyon, Justin Godown, Daniel J Lebovitz
Pediatric Transplant, 21 March 2023
Children awaiting transplantation face a high risk of waitlist mortality due to a shortage of pediatric organ donors. Pediatric donation consent rates vary across Organ Procurement Organizations (OPOs), suggesting that some OPOs might utilize more effective pediatric-focused donor recruitment techniques than others. An online survey of 193 donation requestor staff sheds light on the strategies that OPO staff utilize when approaching potential pediatric deceased organ donors.
In collaboration with the Association of Organ Procurement Organizations, the research team contacted the executive directors and medical directors of all 57 of the OPOs in the US. Of these, 51 OPOs agreed to participate, and 47 provided contact information for donation requestor staff. Of the 379 staff invited to participate in the survey, 193 provided complete responses.
Respondents indicated more comfort approaching adult donors than pediatric donors, and they endorsed approach techniques that were interpersonal and emotional rather than professional and informative. Respondents were accurate in their perceptions about which donor characteristics are associated with consent. However, respondents from OPOs with high consent rates (according to data from the Scientific Registry of Transplant Recipients), and those from OPOs with low consent rates were very similar in terms of demographics, training, experience, and reported techniques.
Additional research is needed to better determine why some OPOs have higher consent rates than others and whether the factors that lead to high consent rates in high-performing OPOs can be successful when implemented by lower-performing OPOs.

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