Center Assistant Professor Dr. Marleen Eijkholt is the co-author of an article in the April 2017 issue of the Journal of Emergency Medicine. The article, “Enabling Donation after Cardiac Death in the Emergency Department: Overcoming Clinical, Legal, and Ethical Concerns,” is co-authored by Michael Dailey, MD, Sean P. Geary, MD, Stefan Merrill, MD, and Marleen Eijkholt, PhD.
Background: In light of the growing gap between candidates for organ donation and the actual number of organs available, we present a unique case of organ donation after cardiac death. We hope to open a discussion regarding organ procurement from eligible donors in the prehospital and emergency department setting.
Case: This case study, involving an otherwise healthy man who, after suffering an untimely death, was able to successfully donate his organs, highlights the need to develop an infrastructure to make this type of donation a viable and streamlined option for the future.
Discussion: Given the departure from traditional practice in United States transplantation medicine, we bring forth legal and ethical considerations regarding organ donation in the emergency department. We hope that this case discussion inspires action and development in the realm of transplant medicine, with the aim of honoring the wishes of donors and the families of those who wish to donate in a respectful way, while using our medical skills and technologies to afford candidates who are waiting for organs a second chance.
Conclusions: We believe that this case shows that donation after cardiac death from the emergency department, while resource-intensive is feasible. We recognize that in order for this to become a more attainable goal, additional resources and systems development is required.
The full article text is available on the ScienceDirect website (MSU Library or other institutional access may be required to view this article).